Solid fuels currently used for energy production in thermal power plants are characterized by a large variety ranging from different coals to biomasses and wastes. This manifold of fuels offers opportunities to the energy producers and nowadays many power plants do not fire single fuels but fuel mixtures. While this procedure may lead to overall economic and environmental advantages it is very demanding for the boiler operators to maintain boiler performance and availability and to meet emission limits. The development of mathematical models that are capable of predicting the combustion behavior of fuel mixtures and provide guidelines for operators and manufacturers has been a challenge over the last years. Since bubbling fluidized beds are frequently used for firing fuel mixtures and especially biomass mixtures, current CFD based BFB models, such as the A˚bo Akademi Furnace Model, have been used widely over the last years to predict emission tendencies and ash deposition behavior. However, due to the complexity of the processes during combustion of fuel mixtures and the combustion process in the bubbling fluidised bed itself, the models are characterized by strong simplifications. This is especially true for the description of the lower part of the furnace, the region of fuel intake and bubbling bed. Recently, the A˚bo Akademi Furnace Model has been extended by a more detailed description of the fuel conversion by considering the combustion of individual biomass particles and a first simplified approach describing heat and mass transfer processes between the bubbling bed and the freeboard. Both submodels guarantee a closed mass and energy balance over the bed-freeboard region. In the current study the new submodels have been used to investigate the combustion conditions in a 290 MW bubbling fluidized bed boiler firing peat and forest residue. Clear differences in the simulation results for the both fuels can be found with regard to the specific combustion characteristics, the location of the main combustion zone and the total heat generated during combustion.

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