Monitoring of bed material in a biomass fluidized bed boiler using an electronic tongue
Journal article, 2023

The thermal conversion of biomass fuel mixes in fluidized beds can cause agglomeration. To counteract agglomeration, bed material is gradually exchanged with virgin bed material, and this results in increased disposal of used bed material. Furthermore, the bed material exchange represents a costly option, as it involves a cost for virgin bed material, for landfill, and for unplanned downtime of the plant. This paper presents a novel method for the evaluation of bed material quality: the electronic tongue (ET). Evaluation of bed material quality can contribute toward decreasing the cost of unnecessary exchanges of bed material. The proposed method was tested on bed material sampled on an almost daily basis from a commercial fluidized bed boiler during several months of operation. A two-electrode ET was used for the evaluation of the bed material quality. The analysis relied on pulsed voltammetry measurements and multivariate data analysis with Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The results suggest that it is possible to follow bed material changes and that the ET, after further development, may be used to optimize the material flows connected to the bed material. Further research is being conducted to optimize the ET's performance and its application in monitoring bed material.


Bed material

Bed quality

Electronic tongue





Tomas Leffler

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material

M. Eriksson

Linköping University

Bo G Leckner

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Fredrik Lind

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

F. Winquist

Linköping University

Pavleta Knutsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material


0016-2361 (ISSN)

Vol. 340 127598

Syrebärarstödd förbränning med kontrollerade materialflöden för att uppnå högre grad av bränslestabilitet i fluidbäddspannor möjliggöra framtidens koldioxidfångning och lagring (BECCS)

Swedish Energy Agency (50450-1), 2020-11-01 -- 2023-12-31.

Subject Categories

Chemical Process Engineering


Other Materials Engineering



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