Effect of Secondary Fuels and Combustor Temperature on Mercury Speciation in Pulverized Fuel Co-combustion: Part 1
Mercury emissions from power plants are of great concern from an environmental point of view, and as a result, there is emphasis on studying the reduction of mercury emissions into the environment. The chemistry affecting Hg speciation in the effluent from co-combustion of biomass and animal waste is poorly understood. The present work mainly involves bench scale studies to investigate partitioning of mercury in pulverized fuel co-combustion at 1000 and 1300 °C. High volatile bituminous coal is used as a reference case and chicken manure, olive residue, and B quality (demolition) wood are used as secondary fuels with 10 and 20% thermal shares. The combustion experiments are carried out in an entrained flow reactor with a fuel input of 7?8 kWth. Elemental and total gaseous mercury concentrations in the flue gas of the reactor are measured on-line, and ash is analyzed for particulate mercury along with other elemental and surface properties. Animal waste like chicken manure behaves very differently from plant waste. The higher chlorine contents of chicken manure cause higher ionic mercury concentrations whereas even with high unburnt carbon, particulate mercury reduces with increase in the chicken manure share. This might be a problem due to coarse fuel particles, low surface area, and iron contents. B-wood and olive residue cofiring reduces the emission of total gaseous mercury and increases particulate mercury capture due to unburnt carbon formed, fine particles, and iron contents of the ash. Calcium in chicken manure does not show any effect on particulate or gaseous mercury. It is probably due to a higher calcium sulfation rate in the presence of high sulfur and chlorine contents. However, in plant waste cofiring, calcium may have reacted with chlorine to reduce ionic mercury to its elemental form. According to thermodynamic predictions, almost 50% of the total ash is melted to form slag at 1300 °C in cofiring because of high calcium, iron, and potassium and hence mercury and other remaining metals are concentrated in small amounts of ash and show an increase at higher temperatures. No slag formation was predicted at 1000 °C. The results will help in predicting different forms of mercury emitted from the furnace with optimum secondary fuel composition and operating conditions.