Shedding light on the governing mechanisms for insufficient CO and H2 burnout in the presence of potassium, chlorine and sulfur
Journal article, 2020

Based on the experiences of insufficient burnout in industrial fluidized bed furnaces despite adequate mixing and availability of oxidizer, the influence of potassium on CO and H2 oxidation in combustion environments was investigated. The combustion environments were provided by a laminar flame burner in a range relevant to industrial furnaces, i.e. 845 °C to 1275 °C and excess air ratios ranging from 1.05 to 1.65. Potassium, in the form of KOH, was homogeneously introduced into the hot gas environments to investigate its effect on the radical pool. To quantitatively determine key species that are involved in the oxidation mechanism (CO, H2, KOH, OH radicals, K atoms), a combination of measurement systems was applied: micro-gas chromatography, broadband UV absorption spectroscopy and tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy. The inhibition effect of potassium on CO and H2 oxidation in excess air was experimentally confirmed and attributed to the chain-terminating reaction between KOH, K atoms and OH radicals, which enhanced the OH radical consumption. The addition of chlorine or sulfur could reduce the concentrations of KOH and K atoms and consequently eliminated the inhibition on CO and H2 oxidation. Existing kinetic mechanisms underestimate the inhibiting effect of potassium and they fail to predict the effect of temperature on CO and H2 concentration when potassium and sulfur co-exist. This work advances the need to revise existing kinetic mechanisms to fully capture the interplay of K and S in the oxidation of CO and H2 in industrial fluidized bed furnaces.



UV absorption spectroscopy



CO oxidation


Teresa Berdugo Vilches

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Wubin Weng

Lund University

Peter Glarborg

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Zhongshan Li

Lund University

Henrik Thunman

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Martin Seemann

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology


0016-2361 (ISSN)

Vol. 273 117762

Subject Categories

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Other Chemical Engineering

Other Chemistry Topics



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