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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Additives and Fuel Blending on Emissions and Ash-Related Problems from Small-Scale Combustion of Reed Canary Grass

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Department of Chemical and Biotechnological Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 Université Boulevard, Sherbrooke QC J1K 2R1, Canada
2
Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment (IRDA), 2700 Einstein Street, Quebec City QC G1P 3W8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen R. Smith
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 561-576; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030561
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling Organic Wastes in Agriculture)
Agricultural producers are interested in using biomass available on farms to substitute fossil fuels for heat production. However, energy crops like reed canary grass contain high nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), potassium (K) and other ash-forming elements which lead to increased emissions of gases and particulate matter (PM) and ash-related operational problems (e.g., melting) during combustion. To address these problematic behaviors, reed canary grass was blended with wood (50 wt%) and fuel additives (3 wt%) such as aluminum silicates (sewage sludge), calcium (limestone) and sulfur (lignosulfonate) based additives. When burned in a top-feed pellet boiler (29 kW), the four blends resulted in a 17%–29% decrease of PM concentrations compared to pure reed canary grass probably because of a reduction of K release to flue gas. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions varied according to fuel N and S contents. This explains the lower NOx and SO2 levels obtained with wood based products and the higher SO2 generation with the grass/lignosulfonate blend. The proportion of clinkers found in combustion ash was greatly lessened (27%–98%) with the use of additives, except for lignosulfonate. The positive effects of some additives may allow agricultural fuels to become viable alternatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural biomass combustion; energy crops; additives; fuel blending; pellets; gas emissions; particulate matter; ash-related problems; melting agricultural biomass combustion; energy crops; additives; fuel blending; pellets; gas emissions; particulate matter; ash-related problems; melting
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Fournel, S.; Palacios, J.H.; Godbout, S.; Heitz, M. Effect of Additives and Fuel Blending on Emissions and Ash-Related Problems from Small-Scale Combustion of Reed Canary Grass. Agriculture 2015, 5, 561-576.

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