The paper presents the experimental and numerical study on the behavior and performance of an industrial scale boiler during combustion of pulverized bituminous coal with various shares of predried lignite. The experimental measurements were carried out on a boiler WP120 located in CHP, Opole, Poland. Tests on the boiler were performed during low load operation and the lignite share reached over to 36% by mass. The predried lignite, kept in dedicated separate bunkers, was mixed with bituminous coal just before the coal mills. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation of a cofiring scenario of lignite with hard coal was also performed. Site measurements have proven that cofiring of a predried lignite is not detrimental to the boiler in terms of its overall efficiency, when compared with a corresponding reference case, with 100% of hard coal. Experiments demonstrated an improvement in the grindability that can be achieved during co-milling of lignite and hard coal in the same mill, for both wet and dry lignite. Moreover, performed tests delivered empirical evidence of the potential of lignite to decrease NOx emissions during cofiring, for both wet and dry lignite. Results of efficiency calculations and temperature measurements in the combustion chamber confirmed the need to predry lignite before cofiring. Performed measurements of temperature distribution in the combustion chamber confirmed trend that could be seen in the results of CFD. CFD simulations were performed for predried lignite and demonstrated flow patterns in the combustion chamber of the boiler, which could prove useful in case of any further improvements in the firing system. CFD simulations reached satisfactory agreement with the site measurements in terms of the prediction of emissions.

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