In this work carbon combustion efficiencies in circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) when co-firing biomass and coal mixtures were studied. Experimental results were obtained from the combustion of two kind of coals with a forest residue (Pine bark) in a CBF pilot plant (0.3MWth) with 20-cm i.d. and 6.5-m height. The effect of operating conditions such as percentage of biomass in the feed, temperature, excess air, air velocity and percentage of secondary air on carbon combustion efficiency was studied. A mathematical model for the co-combustion of coal and biomass in a circulating fluidized bed boiler has been developed. The riser is divided in three zones with different hydrodynamic characteristics: bottom, splash and freeboard. The bottom bed has a constant voidage, determined by a modified two-phase theory. The solids are considered in perfect mixing and the gas in plug flow. The voidage in the splash region follows an exponential decay model. In the freeboard region, the solids and the gas are in plug flow, and a core-annulus structure is considered. Devolatilization of solid fuels is modeled with a particle reaction model which allows to determine the volatiles generation rate as a function of time and operating conditions. Kinetics of char combustion is modeled with the shrinking particle model with mixed control by chemical reaction and gas film diffusion, assuming that the ashes separate once formed. To consider that the char particles are a mixture of coal and biomass char particles, a weighted average combustion rate is defined taking into account the individual combustion rates. Population balances of char particles in the different regions were developed to calculate carbon concentrations. The developed model can predict the different gas concentrations along the riser, such as oxygen, SO2, CO, CH4, etc..., and the carbon combustion efficiency. The experimental results of carbon combustion efficiencies and gas emissions were compared with those predicted by the model and a good correlation was found for all the conditions used.

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