Working with a small, bubbling laboratory scale fluidised bed combustor for many years, helped to gain some insights into the fundamental physicochemical processes taking place in fluidised bed combustors in general, irrespective of size. For example, it has been demonstrated that during coal combustion as a rule the gases leaving the bed cannot be assumed to be at full thermal equilibrium and that when gases are burned the associated acoustic and visual phenomena can be explained in terms of bubbles of the combustible gases exploding within the bed. Much of the experience gained in running the laboratory system has been used in small scale practice, in designing and controlling small, but successful fluidised bed combustors up to about 3 MW. Several 1MW units have now been in operation for over 10 years. It has also been demonstrated that small bubbling bed combustors can be used for disposing of certain biomass and other wastes.

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