Fluidized-bed combustion of mixtures of rapeseed cake and bark: The resulting bed agglomeration characteristics

Patrycja Piotrowska, Alejandro Grimm, Nils Skoglund, Christoffer Boman, Marcus Öhman, Maria Zevenhoven, Dan Boström, Mikko Hupa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The bed agglomeration characteristics resulting from the combustion of 11 mixtures of rapeseed cake and spruce bark were studied in a bench-scale bubbling fluidized-bed reactor (5 kW). The objective was to determine the defluidization temperatures and the prevailing bed agglomeration mechanism as functions of the fuel mixture. Controlled fluidized-bed agglomeration tests were performed for each mixture with quartz sand as the bed material. The total defluidization temperatures and the initial defluidization temperatures were determined based on the measured pressure and temperature profiles in the bed. After combustion, bottom ash samples, agglomerates, and fly ash samples were analyzed by means of scanning electron microscope combined with energy dispersive X-ray detector (SEM-EDX). The composition of the ash-forming matter produced by the combustion of rapeseed cake is significantly different from that produced by the combustion of bark, resulting in different bed agglomeration tendencies. Bark contains ash-forming matter dominated by calcium, with some silicon and potassium, whereas rapeseed cake is rich in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. The total defluidization temperature for pure bark was above 1045 °C, whereas, for rapeseed cake, defluidization occurred during combustion (800 °C). During the combustion of bark, the formation of a potassium-rich layer on the silica-bed grains was found to be a crucial for the formation of agglomerates. The low defluidization temperature for the rapeseed cake can be attributed to the formation of sticky ash, which is dominated by phosphates. Two main phosphate forms were observed in the neck between the silica grains: calcium-potassium/sodium phosphates, and magnesium-potassium phosphates. As the proportion of bark increased, the Ca/P ratio increased in the fuel mixture, and the formation of high-temperature melting phosphates in the ash was favored. However, the addition of bark also favored the formation of a potassium-rich layer on the silica bed material, leading to the coexistence of both bed agglomeration mechanisms. In the present work, mixtures with a minimum of 60 wt % bark resulted in significantly increased defluidization temperatures and reduced bed agglomeration tendencies, compared to what occurs in rapeseed cake monocombustion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2028-2037
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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