This work investigates the influence of biomass fuel properties on the local heat balance in a commercial-scale fluidized bed furnace. Experiments with different wood based fuels were performed in the Chalmers 12 MWth circulating fluidized bed boiler, temporarily modified to run under stationary conditions. A two-phase flow model of the bed and splash zone is applied, where the combustion rate in the bed is estimated by global kinetic expressions, limited by gas exchange between oxygen-rich bubbles and a fuel-rich emulsion phase. The outflow of bubbles from the bed is treated as “ghost bubbles” in the splash zone, where the combustion rate is determined from turbulent properties. It is found that a large amount of heat is required for the fuel and air to reach the temperature of the bed, in which the heat from combustion is limited by a low char content of the fuel. This implies that a substantial fraction of the heat from combustion of volatiles in the splash zone has to be transferred back to the bed to keep the bed temperature constant. It is concluded that the moisture content of the fuel does not considerably alter the vertical distribution of heat emitted, as long as the bed temperature is kept constant by means of flue gas recycling.

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