Journal of the Energy Institute
The technological problems occurring in the co-firing of biomass and brown coal (lignite) prompted this research project. During the fuel preparation, accidental self-ignition and explosions were several times reported by power plants operators. The aim of this study was to evaluate brown coal, sunflower husks and sunflower husk pellets as fuels for co-firing in energetic boilers. Sunflower husk had a lower ash content and calorific value than the pellets. The range of the combustion temperatures of the biomass (200–300 °C) was narrower than that of brown coal (200–800 °C). The formation of highly alkaline ash from the biomass resulted in the formation in boiler of agglomerates of ash. The elemental composition, thermogravimetric and biological analyses suggested that the pellets contained synthetic additives difficult to identify. The biological method was proposed for evaluating biomass additives. The use of additional agents in the pelletizing process may influence on the combustion parameters. Mixing biomass with brown coal may occasionally result in self-ignition in the logistic chain. Plastic additives and biological activity may contribute to self-ignition.