Advanced air staging techniques to improve fuel flexibility, reliability and emissions in fluidized bed co-combustion
Report, 2001

This is a report from the joint project between Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH) and Chalmers Technical University (Chalmers Tekniska Högskola – CTH) regarding emissions from co-combustion of sewage sludge and coal or wood in circulating fluidized bed (CFB) combustors. For operation under co-combustion the following results should be considered: The high ash content of the sewage sludge results in significantly increased ash flows. Although high alkali metal concentrations are found in the sewage sludge ash, no critical concentrations were reached and tendencies to fouling were not observed. The trace metal input rises with increased sludge fraction. However, emissions of metal compounds were well below legal limits. The trace metals tend to accumulate on the fly ash. In general, very low fuel nitrogen conversions to NO and N2O of 2-4 % are achievable. With coal as a base fuel alternative air staging with secondary air supply after solids separation attains even lower NO emissions than normal staging without strongly affecting CO and SO2 emissions. Alternative staging also reduces N2O emissions. An optimum for the excess air ratio in the riser of 1.05 was found for a total excess air ratio of 1.2. The higher the volatile content of the fuel is, the less effective the NO reduction due to air staging becomes. The measurements suggest that the optimum gas residence time regarding the emissions in CFB combustors is around 6 to 7 s. These times are achieved in commercial scale plants due to their large cyclones that perhaps partly can replace a large afterburner chamber. The circulating fluidized bed boiler can be operated in a very flexible way with various fuel mixtures up to an energy fraction of sludge of 25% without exceeding legal emission limits. A short summary of the results is given below.


Nitrogen oxide


Fluidized bed combustion


Emission reduction


Lars-Erik Åmand

Department of Energy Conversion

Bo G Leckner

Department of Energy Conversion

Karsten Lücke

Joachim Werther

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Areas of Advance



Chalmers Power Central

More information