Biomass is currently used as an alternative energy source in some industries. Due to problems with disposal of wastes, using biomass as an energy source is economically and environmentally attractive. In this work seven wastes from textile and food industry were characterized and their gaseous emissions resulting from their combustion in a pilot unit were measured. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the usage of industrial wastes as an energy source taking into account their composition and gaseous emissions when submitted to combustion tests. Gaseous emissions were compared to limits imposed by Brazilian and international current legislations. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) were analyzed by GC-MS and their content values were expressed as total organic carbon (TOC). Four combustion tests were carried out in a cyclone combustor and all TOC emissions were below regulations limits. CO, CO2, NOx, CxHy and SO2 were also measured. Chemical properties showed that the volatile matter values of all biomass were high what indicate that the solids burn rapidly and some biomass presented high levels of sulphur and consequently high levels of emission of SO2 when burned. The lower heating values ranged from 14.22 to 22.93−1. Moisture content and particulate matter (PM) were measured during the combustion tests and showed effective combustion conditions. Thermogravimetric analysis of the biomasses showed ignition temperatures and maximum burning rate which were compared to other papers data. The usage of these biomasses as an energy source is possible however gas treatment would be required specially if the solid presents high levels of sulphur and chlorine.

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