The combustion of CO2 neutral solid fuels like biomass and waste-based fuels with circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler designs has become an accepted way to generate electric power and process steam to reduce global CO2 emissions (i.e. reduce “carbon footprint”) and hence to reduce the potential impact on climate change. In the European Union, for example, there is a co-combustion directive to encourage the use of biomass and waste as energy sources with the co-firing of coal. Quite often biomass and waste combustion in CFB’s have unique technical challenges when compared to fossil fuels. The technical challenges of firing these CO2 neutral fuels do impact CFB boiler design and may impact plant lifecycle and reliability when compared to coal. Among these are combustion bed agglomeration, furnace and heating surface slagging, and new forms of corrosion potential. However, when co-firing these CO2 neutral fuels with coal, these challenges can be tempered in a positive way through inherent changes in the flue gas chemistry and other design considerations. Co-firing makes sense. In addition to reducing the carbon footprint of a boiler project through use of biomass and waste, these energy sources can have a significant positive impact on plant financials owing to low cost supply. However these fuels can have wide variations in availability and energy content over the course of the many years of a boiler’s life. As such, maintaining coal as a supplemental fuel or back-up fuel also provides significant benefit in terms of guaranteeing the energy input supply and thereby securing plant availability. This benefit can help lower project financial risk and improve financial attractiveness and viability. This paper describes this type of boiler, its design considerations and operating history. Highlighted herein is the operating facility in Pori, Finland, commissioned in 2008, which is a 60 MWe CFB boiler burning peat, biomass and recycled waste fuel (RDF) with coal as a back-up fuel. Other facilities with similar design and with operating history of over 10 years are included as reference.

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