• IFRF Publishes review of Secondary Fuels Co-firing in European Power Industry

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Today we publish the first output from the EC co-funded BioFlam R&D Project. This Consortium Project was coordinated by the IFRF Research Station BV and delivered to and approved by the EC in 2005. This week, IFRF Members may download a ‘Status Report on Firing Secondary Fuels in Europe’ at this page: http://www.research.ifrf.net/research/document.html?did=38. The review was prepared for the BioFlam Consortium by the IVD at the University of Stuttgart.

The thermal utilisation of secondary or recovered fuels in pulverised fuel (pf) fired power plants offers an immediate route to achieve the EC White Paper target of 6 Mtoe of biomass fuels being used in co-firing plants. Recovered fuels are inhomogeneous fractions with a large share of CO2-neutral or less carbon intensive materials. The utilisation of recovered fuels offers a CO2 reduction potential of up to 90 percent in comparison to carbon intensive fuels such as coal. Recovered fuels are suitable to replace a proportion of the coal used in existing coal-fired power stations.


Currently most of the waste materials in Europe are deposited on landfills (efficiency 0 percent). Consumption of land, long-term reactions on the landfills and emission of green house gases (GHG) have a negative influence on the environment in Europe. This triggered the interest in sustainable modern waste management systems encouraging reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery measures. The state-of-the-art alternative is the thermal treatment of waste in a waste incineration plant at costs of 90 Euros/tonne or more. The cost savings of co-combustion against waste incineration are over 70 percent. A further benefit of the co-combustion approach is that the energy content of the recovered fuels will be transformed into electricity in pulverised fuel fired power plant at high efficiencies (> 40 percent) compared to about 20 percent in waste incineration and 0 percent in landfill. This reduces CO2 emissions in electricity production.


The status report  is based on information provided by the BioFlam project partners, on publications and on information available by internet. The report includes information about 16 European countries and focuses on country specific criteria, laws and experience with PF co-combustion of recovered fuels. The report is based on summary information relating to co-firing practice in Europe at the beginning of the 21st Century.

The report also sets the scene for an IFRF TOTeM on Co-firing to be held in the autumn of 2006 (see the following article).