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Possibility of using paper sludge in co-firing applications

Vamvouka Despoina, Salpigidou N. , Kastanaki Eleni, Sfakiotakis Stylianos

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Year 2009
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation D. Vamvuka, N. Salpigidou, E. Kastanaki and S. Sfakiotakis, “Possibility of using paper sludge in co-firing applications”, Fuel, vol. 88, no. 4, pp. 637-643, Apr. 2009. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2008.09.029
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The possibility of co-processing paper sludge with coal in power plants for power production and useful products was investigated as an alternative to the disposal option. The thermal behaviour of the fuels and their blend during pyrolysis and combustion processes was studied, kinetic models were developed and the compatibility of each component in the blend was evaluated. The experiments were conducted in a thermogravimetric analysis system, at non-isothermal heating conditions, over the temperature range 25–850 °C. The effect of the inorganic constituents of the fuels and their mixture on thermal conversion characteristics, reactivity, slagging and fouling propensities and environmental pollution was examined.The thermochemical reactivity of the two fuels was different in both nitrogen and air. Devolatilization of paper sludge occurred earlier and with a higher rate, while its combustion was hindered by the high content of ash. When the two fuels were mixed their pyrolysis or combustion reactivities did not substantially change. A first-order parallel reactions model for pyrolysis and a power low model for combustion fitted the experimental results accurately. The kinetic parameters of the blend could be predicted from the data of the individual components. Co-firing paper sludge with subbituminous coal might somehow improve the slagging/fouling potential of the coal. However, if the mineral matter of paper sludge is partly removed before use, then the combustion behaviour of the mixture could resemble that of coal alone and the overall efficiency of the process would increase.