• New IFRF Reports issued

    Date posted:

    • Post Author


Three IFRF Research Reports have been published today. All of them deal with solid biofuel characterization for co-firing application and reflect industrial interest in co-firing biomass in power plants. Biofuel combustion and gasification continue to be one of the main focuses of IFRF research, given our involvement in the EU BRISK project and other local projects aimed at characterizing 2nd generation biofuels for thermochemical biomass conversion, including gasification.

The Isothermal Plug Flow Reactor (IPFR) is the core facility used to obtain representative data in conditions similar to those in real applications.  An advanced tool for combustion related studies and the extrapolation of the prerequisites and principles that could be in common with other advanced equipment, the IPFR is also one of the facilities offered by IFRF for the Transnational Access element of BRISK.

Uniform and reliable data emerging from work in the IPFR are also inserted into the IFRF online Solid Fuel database (SFDB), a constantly expanding resource for use by IFRF Members, and one which now includes new information on biofuels characterization data.

All three new reports are available for immediate perusal and download by IFRF Members.

The aim of the first report Development of the experimental procedures for advanced biofuels characterization in the Isothermal Plug Flow Reactor is to define the experimental procedures for testing biomass fuels in the IPFR.  The objective is to provide qualified data for quantitative prediction of operational/design parameters of industrial-scale combustion systems through Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations.  Particular attention is given to the uncertainties quantification related to the use of ash tracer method for determining the fuel conversion.

The second report Biomass characterization for co-firing application: black pellets and torrefied palm kernel shell contains the results of the characterization of different biomass materials performed by IFRF in collaboration with University of Pisa, and ENEL Laboratories.  The tested biofuels, coming from the Polish Company Remak-Rozruch and KTH, Stockolm,  involved in an industrial project on biomass co-firing in power plant, include a virgin biomass (Black Pellets) and the torrefied products of PKS (Palm Kernel Shell), processed to achieve three levels of torrefaction (10%, 20%, 30% of the volatile matter content). 

The tests include fundamental (proximate and ultimate) and additional (heating value, physical properties, morphology) analyses and advanced tests of devolatilization and char oxidation in the IPFR.  In addition, the results of tests at low heating rate (using TGA) and those coming from University of Pisa reactor TAREK, used for studying tar formation, are also described in this document.  As well as the fuel properties and test raw data, the reaction kinetics are also elaborated.

The derived data and parameters represent an important verification of the procedures developed by IFRF for such unconventional biomasses.  The numerous, uniform and qualified data give a comprehensive characterization of some biofuels to study the co-combustion applications.  The whole experimental campaign also contributes to improving the procedures and developing the protocols for biofuel characterization, one of the main objectives of the BRISK programme.

Finally, the third report Devolatilization and char combustion characterization with the IPFR of a lignin produced by steam explosion describes the combustion behavior of a lignin produced by steam explosion, again characterized using the IPFR. Devolatilization was tested at 900 and 1200°C in an oxygen-free atmosphere, whereas char combustion was characterized at the same temperatures with 2%, 4%, and 8% oxygen concentrations.  Also char gasification with water and the carbon dioxide present in the IPFR was tested at both temperatures.

The samples collected from the IPFR undergo several laboratory analyses: proximate, ultimate, particle size distribution and ash composition, and the results are presented in this report.  In particular, conversion during devolatilization and char combustion is assessed according to the ash tracer method, as mentioned above, which assumes the ash content to be inert through processes occurring in the IPFR. In fact, experimentally determined conversion trends are the basic data to get a reliable description of solid fuel combustion according to different kinetic models.  The results of the lignin characterization are shown, with particular attention to the conversion trends versus residence time.

For potential users interested in further analysis of the experimental data, all the results of the laboratory analyses performed on the samples collected from the IPFR are shown in a dedicated annex, as is common practice in IFRF data reports.

In the frame of BRISK, different second generation biofuels have been characterized and specific methodologies were developed and are tested.  In the next MNM, new reports coming from IFRF BRISK activities will be advertised and issued on other second generation biofuels characterization and pilot gasification tests. 

Follow this link for more information about the BRISK funding opportunities available to researchers in your organisation.

Click here to browse the list of the BRISK partners.

IFRF had a dissemination role in a now completed EU project, DEBCO – DEmonstration of large scale Biomass Co-firing and supply chain integration.  View the DEBCO website