This paper summarizes the major problems in firing and co-firing the annual biomass, such as straw, in both lab-scale and full-scale fluidized bed combustors. Two types of problems were studied: operational problems, such as agglomeration, deposition and corrosion; and emission problems, e.g. emissions of NO and SO2. Measurements of deposition and corrosion rate on the heat transfer surfaces, as well as gas phase alkali metal concentrations, were performed in full scale CFB boilers (an 80 MWth and a 20 MWth plant), which have been co-firing coal with straw and other biomass. Severe corrosion and deposition were observed in the superheater located in the loop-seal of the 80 MWth boiler. The boiler load variation has impact on the operation parameters. When the fraction of biomass with a high K-content (>1 wt. %) was higher than 60% on a thermal basis, the boiler suffered from severe agglomeration problems. Lab-scale experiments were carried out for the fundamental understanding of phenomena found in full-scale boilers and for testing possible solutions to the problems. The results showed a strong tendency of agglomeration in fluidized beds during combustion of straw, which normally have a high content of potassium and chlorine. The results indicate that the operational problems may be minimized by a combination of additives, improved boiler design, split of combustion air and detection of agglomeration at an early stage.

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