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Skoglund N.,Umeå University | Skoglund N.,Lulea University of Technology | Bafver L.,Pöyry | Fahlstrom J.,Ragn Sells Miljokonsult AB | And 2 more authors.
Fuel Processing Technology | Year: 2015

Municipal sewage sludge (MSS) is a waste stream resource which contains both energy and elements such as phosphorus which could be recycled. If these two aspects of this waste stream resource are to be used to their full potential the sludge should not be used in landfills or road construction. There is some use of sludge in agriculture today but not all MSS produced is suitable for direct use on arable land due to its content of potentially harmful elements, pathogens or anthropogenic chemicals. By combusting sludge that is not used directly in agriculture the problematic organic content could be destroyed. The combustion process also produces an ash that possibly could be used either directly in agriculture or as a raw material for recovering phosphorus and energy could be recovered. Building mono-combustion plants for sewage sludge is not economically feasible in all parts of the world so it is of interest to investigate how MSS can be introduced together with other fuels in existing infrastructure which already have extensive cleaning systems for potentially harmful elements.To investigate this possible path, demolition wood chips (DWC) were co-combusted with municipal sewage sludge (MSS) in a grate-fired combined heat and power plant running at 50% capacity producing 25MWth and 9MWel. The amount of MSS that was suitable to introduce in blends was determined using a "fuel fingerprint" based on the composition of the raw materials. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations were made to evaluate potential problems with slagging based on the ash content prior to the combustion experiments. The fuels were introduced as a reference case with only demolition wood and pre-blended fuel mixtures in two ratios; 65w/w-% DWC/35w/w-% MSS and 55w/w-% DWC/45w/w-% MSS and were fired for 12h. The high water content of the MSS affected how much MSS that could be introduced without compromising the heat and power production.The fuel blends worked nicely for 12. h of continuous combustion with small adjustments where the primarily the air inlet configuration was changed. The main problems encountered related to cleaning of the flue gases and to some extent ash removal. The bed ash and fly ash produced was analysed both using ICP-AES (elemental) and XRD (speciation) and the bottom ash was subjected to ash melting tests. The major nutrient phosphorus was mainly found in bottom ash (80. w/w-%) as whitlockites with some hydroxyapatite whereas fly ash (20. w/w-%) contained larger amounts of hydroxyapatite, especially for the reference fuel. The amount of alkali chloride in the fly ash was reduced in favour of alkali sulphate formation. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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