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Combustion of agricultural residues: An experimental study for small-scale applications
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology. Facultad de Ciencias y Tecnología (FCyT), Universidad Mayor de San Simon (UMSS), Cochabamba, Bolivia.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0042-0227
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
Universidad Mayor de San Simon.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
2014 (English)In: Fuel, ISSN 0016-2361, Vol. 115, 778-787 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Energy services could be greatly improved by using of residues from local food industries in small-scale combustion units. Wood pellets are a reliant and proven fuel to be used in small-scale combustion units. However, these units should preferably be able to use different types of biomass depending what it is locally available. Therefore, studies have been focused on exploring the suitability of using agricultural residues for small-scale heat and power generation using direct combustion. This study targets to compare the combustion of different agricultural residues in a single unit designed for wood pellets. The different biomass fuels used are circle divide 6 mm and circle divide 8 mmwood pellets, circle divide 6 mmbagasse pellets, circle divide 6 mmsunflower husk (SFH) pellets and Brazil nut (BN) shells. The results reveal a decrease in the fuel power input, higher oxygen levels in the flue gases and shorter cycles for ash removal when using the agricultural residues. The excess air ratio was calculated based on a mass balance and compared with a standard equation showing a good agreement. CO and NO emission levels as well as the relative conversion of fuel-C to CO were higher for the BN shells and SFH pellets in comparison to the other biomass types. SO2 emission was estimated based on the analysis of unburned sulfur in ash and mass balances; the higher estimated levels corresponded to the BN shells and SFH pellets. All the biomass sorts presented over 95% relative conversion of fuel-C to CO2. Wood pellets and BN shells presented the highest amount of unburned carbon in ash relative to the fuel-C. The relative conversion of fuel-N to NO and fuel-S to SO2 were higher for wood pellets. Bagasse pellets showed similar emission levels and relative conversion efficiency to wood pellets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 115, 778-787 p.
Keyword [en]
Agricultural residues, Sugar cane bagasse, Sunflower husks, Brazil nut shells, Biomass combustion
National Category
Energy Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-128457DOI: 10.1016/jfuel.2013.07.054ISI: 000325647000090ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84883138109OAI: diva2:647640

QC 20131114

Available from: 2013-09-11 Created: 2013-09-11 Last updated: 2014-09-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Combustion of agricultural residues: Application for Stirling micro-combined heat and power
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Combustion of agricultural residues: Application for Stirling micro-combined heat and power
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Access to energy services is crucial for the development of countries. Therefore, in developing countries, the access to modern conversion technologies would contribute to reduce the poverty, improve health services and promote the economy especially in rural areas. Around 2.5 billion people in these countries use biomass for cooking. However, major concerns are due to the unsustainable use of biomass and the inefficient conversion technologies employed in rural areas. Therefore, the use of locally available biomass in modern biomass conversion technologies would significantly reduce emissions and improve the energy efficiency. These modern technologies may include residential pellet stoves and boilers which at the moment only are used for heating appliances in industrialized countries. Their combination with a prime mover like a Stirling engine could a very attractive solution to produce combined heat and power (CHP) though still in prototype stage. In this context, this study is mainly focused on the development of an energy system fuelled by locally available biomass to produce heat and electricity based on a Stirling engine. The main objective is to perform experiments to find relevant parameters that characterize the energy system proposed.

In the first stage of this work, the suitability of using agricultural residues in a pellet boiler was evaluated in comparison to commercial wood pellets. The agricultural residues used during the tests were: sugar cane bagasse, sunflower husks and Brazil nut shells. The first two residues were pelletized and the last one was reduced to a uniform size. Parameters and energy used during the pelletizing were found. Emission levels and boiler efficiency under steady-state and transient conditions were also presented for the different biomass sorts. In the second stage, the integration of the same pellet burner and the Stirling engine was characterized in terms of losses and efficiency calculations. Finally, the integration of the pelletizing, combustion, and heat and power generation was discussed based on experimental and predicted results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. xx, 85 p.
TRITA-KRV, ISSN 1100-7990 ; 14:03
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Technology
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-150350 (URN)978-91-7595-241-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-22, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20140903

Available from: 2014-09-03 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2014-09-03Bibliographically approved

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