Co-combustion of biomass-based fuels and fossil fuels in power plant boilers, utility boilers, and process furnaces is a widely acknowledged means of efficient heat and power production, offering higher power production than comparable systems with sole biomass combustion. This, in combination with CO2
and other greenhouse gases abatement and low specific cost of system retrofit to co-combustion, counts among the tangible advantages of co-combustion application. Technical and operational issues regarding the accelerated fouling, slagging, and corrosion risk, as well as optimal combustion air distribution impact on produced greenhouse gases emissions and ash properties, belong to intensely researched topics nowadays in parallel with the combustion aggregates design optimization, the advanced feed pretreatment techniques, and the co-combustion life cycle assessment. This review addresses the said topics in a systematic manner, starting with feed availability, its pretreatment, fuel properties and combustor types, followed by operational issues, greenhouse gases, and other harmful emissions trends, as well as ash properties and utilization. The body of relevant literature sources is table-wise classified according to numerous criteria pertaining to individual paper sections, providing a concise and complex insight into the research methods, analyzed systems, and obtained results. Recent advances achieved in individual studies and the discovered synergies between co-combusted fuels types and their shares in blended fuel are summed up and discussed. Actual research challenges and prospects are briefly touched on as well.
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