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Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5819-5837; doi:10.3390/su7055819

A Comparative Study of Fouling and Bottom Ash from Woody Biomass Combustion in a Fixed-Bed Small-Scale Boiler and Evaluation of the Analytical Techniques Used

Industrial Engineering School, University of Vigo, Campus Lagoas-Marcosende, s/n, 36310 Vigo, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susan Krumdieck
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 3 May 2015 / Accepted: 7 May 2015 / Published: 12 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Biomass Energy)
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In this work, fouling and bottom ash were collected from a low-power boiler after wood pellet combustion and studied using several analytical techniques to characterize and compare samples from different areas and determine the suitability of the analysis techniques employed. TGA results indicated that the fouling contained a high amount of organic matter (70%). The XRF and SEM-EDS measurements revealed that Ca and K are the main inorganic elements and exhibit clear tendency in the content of Cl that is negligible in the bottom ash and increased as it penetrated into the innermost layers of the fouling. Calcite, magnesia and silica appeared as the major crystalline phases in all the samples. However, the bottom ash was primarily comprised of calcium silicates. The KCl behaved identically to the Cl, preferably appeared in the adhered fouling samples. This salt, which has a low melting point, condenses upon contact with the low temperature tube and played a crucial role in the early stages of fouling formation. XRD was the most useful technique applied, which provided a semi-quantitative determination of the crystalline phases. FTIR was proven to be inadequate for this type of sample. The XRF and SEM-EDS, techniques yield similar results despite being entirely different. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; combustion; fouling; bottom ash; analytical techniques biomass; combustion; fouling; bottom ash; analytical techniques

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Febrero, L.; Granada, E.; Patiño, D.; Eguía, P.; Regueiro, A. A Comparative Study of Fouling and Bottom Ash from Woody Biomass Combustion in a Fixed-Bed Small-Scale Boiler and Evaluation of the Analytical Techniques Used. Sustainability 2015, 7, 5819-5837.

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