Publication | Contributions to trade journals

Performance of a pellet boiler fired with agricultural fuels

Published 2013

Citation: Carvalho L, Wopienka E, Pointner C, Lundgren J, Verma VK, Haslinger W, et al. Performance of a pellet boiler fired with agricultural fuels. Appl Energy. 2013;104:286-96.


The increasing demand for woody biomass increases the price of this limited resource, motivating the growing interest in using woody materials of lower quality as well as non-woody biomass fuels for heat production in Europe. The challenges in using non-woody biomass as fuels are related to the variability of the chemical composition and in certain fuel properties that may induce problems during combustion. The objective of this work has been to evaluate the technical and environmental performance of a 15. kW pellet boiler when operated with different pelletized biomass fuels, namely straw (Triticum aestivum), Miscanthus (Miscanthus× giganteus), maize (Zea mays), wheat bran, vineyard pruning (from Vitis vinifera), hay, Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and wood (from Picea abies) with 5% rye flour. The gaseous and dust emissions as well as the boiler efficiency were investigated and compared with the legal requirements defined in the FprEN 303-5 (final draft of the European standard 303-5). It was found that the boiler control should be improved to better adapt the combustion conditions to the different properties of the agricultural fuels. Additionally, there is a need for a frequent cleaning of the heat exchangers in boilers operated with agricultural fuels to avoid efficiency drops after short term operation. All the agricultural fuels satisfied the legal requirements defined in the FprEN 303-5, with the exception of dust emissions during combustion of straw and Sorghum. Miscanthus and vineyard pruning were the best fuels tested showing comparable emission values to wood combustion. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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