Sludge from wastewater treatment plants in five Swedish pulp and paper mills has been burned together with wood in a circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boiler. The sludge was either mechanically dewatered or pre-dried. The mechanically dewatered sludge had to be fed with a pump, but the pre-dried sludge could be fed by the fuel feed system normally used for coal, wood chips or wood pellets. In parallel to the combustion tests in the CFB boiler the sludges were also investigated as single fuels in a small laboratory FB. The Swedish pulp and paper industry produces three major fractions of sludge: pure fibre sludge, sludge produced by employing a precipitation species like ironaluminiumsulphate, and finally, sludge subjected to biological cleaning. The way of production of the sludge influences its content of, for example, nitrogen, sulphur and chlorine, but the composition of the sludge is also influenced by the pulp and paper process. The present measurements show that the concentrations of nitrogen, sulphur and chlorine in the sludge have a great impact on the corresponding gaseous emissions from combustion. Actions to prevent these emissions could be necessary, depending on the origin of the sludge and treatment process used. In the present project all sludges were burned with wood-pellets as the main fuel under identical operating conditions, typical for a CFB boiler. Wood pellets were chosen as a well defined, low-polluting fuel that makes comparison of emissions from the sludges clear. Co-combustion with wood-pellets has the advantage of enabling operation also with wet sludges that cannot be used as single fuels without pre-drying. No actions were taken to improve sulphur and chlorine retention, by for example adding limestone. From a combustion point of view the co-combustion works well with low levels of carbon monoxide present in the flue gas and no light hydrocarbons.

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