The evaluation of the fluidised bed combustion performance of South African coals in the presence of sorbents.
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The Fluidised Bed Combustion (FBC) technology has been widely used internationally for power generation. This technology has good fuel flexibility and reduced S02 emissions with dry sorbent (Limestone or Dolomite) addition. South Africa has large reserves of coals that are difficult to combust in conventional pulverised fuel fired boilers. These reserves could be potential feedstocks for new build FBC boilers. The chemical composition of these coals is site specific and could have an impact on the combustion performance of the fuel. This necessitates the need for FBC coal tests in the presence of a sorbent. The objectives of this study were to investigate the changes in the production NO" SO" and the combustion efficiency of the three test coals under conditions of fluidised bed combustion, with the same sorbent. Tests with no sorbent were performed to evaluate the coals inherent calcium capabilities of capturing sulphur. Tests with varying ratios of sorbent were performed to evaluate the sorbent's capabilities for further levels of in-bed desulphurisation. The experimental equipment used in this investigation was the Eskom Fluidised Bed Test Facility (FBTF). This facility is a bubbling fluidised bed combustorlgasifier. The investigated bed temperature range was between 800 to 900°C, in intervals of 20°C. The operating pressure was 50kPa (gauge). The three coals were compared at CalS molar ratio of 1. Carbon in ash has shown to decrease with an increase in bed temperature for Coal A, Band C. The best performing coal in terms of least quantity of remaining carbon in ash was Coal A. The NO emissions increased for an increase in bed temperature for Coal A, Band C. The greatest NO emissions were recorded during Coal B tests. The N 20 emissions decreased with an increase in bed temperature for Coal A and B tests. Higher N 20 emissions were observed for Coal B than Coal A tests. In terms of S02 retention Coal C performed the best. The optimal operating bed temperature for S02 retention observed for the three coals was in the region of 800-860°C.