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• Difficulties associated with low volatile coals

– Ignition
– Combustion stability (over load range)
– Combustion efficiency
• Causes
– Lack of volatile material in the coal to support ignition
– Rate of volatile matter release
– High ignition temperature
– Lo reactivity of remaining char
• Solutions
– !iner pf grading
– Longer furnace residence times
– Careful air admission
– !urnace refractory cover here appropriate
Anthracite contains more than 86% fixed carbon and less volatile matter. Volatile
matter helps in the ignition of coal, so it is difficult to burn anthracite. Bituminous
coal is the large group containing 46-86% of fixed carbon and !-4!% of volatile
matter. "t can be lo#, medium and high volatile. $he lo#er of volatilit% is the higher
the heating value. &ignite is the lo#est grade of coal containing moisture as high as
'!% and high volatile matter.
$he amount of V( indicates #hether the coal #ill burn #ith a short or long flame
and #hether it #ill tend to produce smo)e. $he more volatile the coal, the more it #ill
smo)e.
According to geological order of formation, coal ma% be of the follo#ing t%pes*
+. ,eat
. &ignite
'. -ub bituminous
4. Bituminous
.. -ub Anthracite
6. Anthracite, #ith increasing percentage of carbon. After anthracite, graphite is
formed.
Anthracite contains more than 86% fixed carbon and less volatile matter. Volatile
matter helps in the ignition of coal, so it is difficult to burn anthracite. Bituminous
coal is the large group containing 46-86% of fixed carbon and !-4!% of volatile
matter. "t can be lo#, medium and high volatile. $he lo#er of volatilit% is the higher
the heating value. &ignite is the lo#est grade of coal containing moisture as high as
'!% and high volatile matter. According to A-$( /American societ% of testing and
materials0, peat not regarded as a ran) of coal. ,eat containing up to 1!% moisture
and is not attractive as a utilit% fuel.
Coal Analysis
$here are t#o t%pes of coal anal%sis, proximate and ultimate. Both are done on mass
per cent basis. Both these t%pes ma% be based on
+. As received basis useful for combustion calculation.
. 2r% or moisture free basis.
'. 2r% mineral matter free or combustible basis.
Proximate Analysis.
$he proximate anal%sis indicates the behavior of coal #hen it is heated. 3hen + g
sample of coal is sub4ected to a temperature of about +!.5 for a period of + hour, the
loss in #eight of the sample gives the moisture content of the coal.
3hen + g sample of coal is placed in a cover platinum crucible and heated to 1.!5
and maintained at the temperature for about 6 min, there is a loss in #eight due the
elimination of moisture and volatile matter. $he latter ma% no# be determined since
moisture has been calculated from the previous test. Volatile matter consists of
h%drogen and certain h%drogen-carbon compounds #hich can be remove from the
coal simpl% b% heating it.
B% sub4ecting + g sample of coal in an uncovered crucible to a temperature of about
6!5 until the coal is completel% burned, a constant #eight is reached, #hich
indicates that there is onl% ash remaining in the crucible. 5omplete combustion of
coal is determined b% repeated #eighing of the sample.
7ixed carbon is the difference bet#een +!!% and the sum of the percentages of
moisture, ash and volatile matter. 8o#ever, this difference does not represent all the
carbon that #as in the coal. -ome of carbon ma% have been in the form of
h%drocarbon #hich ma% have been distilled off #hile determining the volatile matter.
"t is also possible that some of this fixed carbon ma% include sulphur, nitrogen and
ox%gen. -o, the proximate anal%sis of coal gives 759V(9(9A:+!!% b% mass.
$he amount of V( indicates #hether the coal #ill burn #ith a short or long flame
and #hether it #ill tend to produce smo)e. $he more volatile the coal, the more it #ill
smo)e.
$he figure sho#s the trend in moisture, volatile matter and fixed carbon #hen
expressed on a dr% ash free basis. $he general trend #ith increasing ran) is an
increase in the heating value and fixed carbon and corresponding decreasing in
moisture and V(. $his trend is pronounced that a classification s%stem based on the
fuel ratio /ratio of fixed carbon to volatile matter0 has been used as rough indicator of
a coal;s ran).
&o#er <an) coals /lo#er fuel ratio0 are characteri=ed b% a greater ox%gen content,
that aids ignition and enhances combustibilit% and flame stabilit%. 8igh
combustibilit% improves carbon burnout /reduce carbon carr%over0 and hence boiler
efficienc% and for pulveri=ed coal fire units, this allo#s the coal to be ground to a
coarser si=e. &o# ran) coals /high moisture content0 produce a >self pulveri=ation? of
the coal particles during combustion. As the inherent moisture in the pore structure of
the coal is heated and expands rapidl%, its volume increase /as #ater flashes to steam
at atmospheric pressure, the volume expansion is +6!! to +0, thus fragmenting the
coal particles. $his exposed more surface area for combustion.
Ultimate Analysis
$he ultimate anal%sis gives the chemical elements that comprise the coal substance,
together #ith ash and moisture. $he coal substance consists of organic compounds of
carbon, h%drogen and ox%gen derived from the original vegetable matter. $he anal%sis
sho#s the follo#ing components on mass basis* carbon, h%drogen, nitrogen, sulphur,
moisture and ash, therefore 5989@9A9-9(9A : +!!% b% mass. $he dr% and ash
free anal%sis on combustible basis is obtained on dividing 5,8,@,A and - b% fraction
B+-/(9A0C+!!0D
Coal Properties
$here are certain properties of coal #hich are important in po#er plant application.
$he% are s#elling index, grindabilit%, #eatherabilit%, sulphur content, heating value
and ash softening temperature.
Swelling index.
-ome t%pes of coal during and after release of volatile matter become soft and past%
and form agglomerates. $hese are called ca)ing coal. "n a fixed bed, such as traveling
grate sto)er, the coal must not ca)e as it burns. $he conseEuent agglomeration
disturbs greatl% the availabilit% of air and so the coal does not completel% burn
%ielding lo# combustion efficienc%. 5oal that does not ca)e is called free burning
coal. "t brea)s s apart during combustion exposing large surface to the air, thus
enhancing the combustion process efficienc%. 5a)ing coals are used to produce co)e
b% heating in a co)e oven in the absence of air, #ith the volatile matter driven off.
5oal devoid of volatile mater is coal co)e, #hich is largel% needed in a steel plant. A
Eualitative evaluation method, called s#elling index, has been devised to determine
the extent of ca)ing of a coal. A free burning coal has a high value of s#elling index,
#hich indicates #hat it some #hat expand in volume during combustion 3hen
modern pulveri=ed coal burner are used, the s#elling propert% of coal is, ho#ever, of
less importance.
Grindability
Frindabilit% is often an important criterion for selection a coal. $his propert% of coal
is measured b% standard gridabilit% index, #hich is inversel% proportional to the
po#er reEuired to grind the coal to a specified particle si=e for burning. Frindabilit%
of standard coal is defined as +!!. "f the coal selected for use at po#er plant has
grindabilit% of .!, it #ould reEuire t#ice grinding po#er of standard coal to produce
e specified particle si=e.
Weatherability.
"t is measure of ho# #ell coal can be stoc)piled for long periods of time #ithout
crumbling to pieces. (odern po#er plants normall% stoc)pile 6! to 1! da%s; suppl%
of coal in a large pile near the po#er plant. $he coal unloaded from #agon is pac)ed
in a long trape=oidal pile. Gxcessive crumbling or #eathering of coal due to climate
conditions ma% result small particle of coal #hich can be dispersed b% #ing or rain.
Sulphur Content.
-ulphur content in a coal is combustible and generates some energ% b% its oxidation
to -@, sulphur dioxide is ma4or source of atmospheric pollution. $here is an
environmental regulation on -@ emission. $he operating cost of -@ removal
eEuipment need be considered #hile selecting a coal #ith high sulphur content.
Heating Value
$he heating value of caloric value of coal is propert% of fundamental importance. "t
ma% be determined on an as received, dr% or dr% and ash free basis. "t is the heat
transferred #hen the products of complete combustion of a sample of coal /or other
fuel0 are cooled to the initial temperature of air and fuel. "t is normall% determined in
a standard test in a bomb calorimeter, #here a coal sample of )no#n mass is burnt
#ith a pore ox%gen suppl% completel% in a stainless steel bomb or vessel surrounded
b% a )no#n mass of #ater and the rise in #ater temperature is noted. $#o different
heating values are citied for coal. $he higher heating value /88V0 assumed that the
#ater vapor in the products condenses and thus includes the latent heat vapori=ation
of the #ater vapor formed b% combustion. $he lo#er heating value /&8V0 assumes
that the #ater vapor formed b% combustion leaves as vapor itself, therefore
&8V : 88V H m#.hfg
3here m# is the mass of #ater vapor formed given b%
m# : ( 9 18 9 Ia.#a
3here ( and 8 are the mass fractions of moisture and h%drogen in the coal. And Ia
is the specific humidit% of atmospheric air and #a is the actual amount of air supplied
per )g of coal. 7or energ% balance and efficienc% calculation of steam generators,
88V of fuel is considered in the J-A, #hereas &8V is the standard used in
Guropean practice.
"f the ultimate anal%sis is )no#n, the 88V of anthracite and bituminous coal can
determined approximatel% b% using 2ulong and ,etit formula as given belo#
88V : ''.85 9 +44.4.B8-/@C80D 9 1.'8- in (KC)g
3here 5, 8, @ and - are mass fractions of carbon, h%drogen, ox%gen and sulphur in
coal. Assuming the latent heat of vapori=ation hfg at the partial pressure of#ater
vapor in the combustion product as .'1. (KC)g, the lo#er heating value of coal is
given b%
&8V : KKV H .'1..m#
Softening emperature.
$he ash softening temperature is the temperature at #hich the ash softens and become
plastic. $his is some#hat belo# the melting point of ash. $he design of steam
generator greatl% depends on the ash softening temperature /a.s.t0 of of the coal. "f the
furnace temperature is higher than the a.s.t aLL the ash #ill melt and #ould come out
of the furnace bottom continuousl% as molten slag. 7or furnace that #ould discharge
ash in the solid form, as high as softening temperature #ould be reEuired. A sto)er
furnace must use coal #ith a high a.s.t other#ise clin)ers #ould be formed. 5lin)ers
#hich are large masses of fused ash, cause troubles in discharge and also ma)e
combustion inefficient.
Spontaneous Combustion
5ombustion /oxidation0 of coal can ta)e place rapidl% as in a furnace or slo#l% on a
stoc)pile. "f it ta)es place slo#l%, there is a degradation or loss of energ% content and
hence in the value of fuel. $he factors #hich influence spontaneous combustion and
#hich can lead to a big fire, are the follo#ing
+. <an) of coal, lo# ran) of coals are most susceptible because of their higher
porosit%.
. Amount of surface area exposed to air
'. Ambient temperature, #ith high solar insulation aiding it.
4. @x%gen content of coal.
.. 7ree moisture in coal.
6. 5onfiguration of coal stoc)pile, steep conical piles #ith coarse coal at the edges
and fines near the top are more susceptible because the% promote natural convection
/chimne% effect0 and good air flo# through the pile to support combustion as it
develops.
$o prevent spontaneous combustion, it is important to maintain a dr% pile and
compaction at regular intervals.
"he reactivity of the coals correlated ith the inverse of the fuel ratio
(#$%!C)&
'rincipal Research Results
Background
(t present) bituminous coal that burns ell ith a high calorific value in the range
of *)+,, to -),,, kcal%kg and ith a fuel ratio (eight ratio of fi.ed carbon to
volatile matter) of /&, to 0&+ is used to pulveri1ed coal fired poer stations in
2apan& (s the demand for coal is likely to increase orldide) particularly in
developing countries) it is hoped that lo grade coal that has not yet been used
in thermal poer stations can be utili1ed to reduce the poer generation cost by
reducing the fuel cost& "he types of coal that should be considered for use are
lo grade coal ith a lo calorific value and a high moisture content or high ash
content) and high fuel ratio coal hich is difficult to ignite and hich has a narro
stable combustion range&
3b4ectives
"o clarify the combustion characteristics of lo grade coal that have a calorific
value in the range of 5),,, to +),,, kcal%kg and a high moisture content or high
ash content and high fuel ratio coal that has a fuel ratio of + or greater ith a
pulveri1ed coal combustion test furnace (combustion capacity of ,&/ t%h)&
Principal Results
1. Low Grade Coal
(1 "he 63. conversion ratios of lignite coal (eight ratio of moisture content to
coal supply amount as dry ash free 7 /&+) and subbituminous coal (same ratio 7
,&5) ere compared ith that of lo moisture coal under similar conditions to
pulveri1ed coal firedpoer plants& It as found that the 63. conversion ratio of
lignite coal as slightly loer than that of lo moisture coal hile that
of sub8bituminous coal as higher (s lignite coal has a high moisture content)
the latent heat of vaporisation is high& "his reduces the flame temperature& (s a
result) the o.ygen consumption near the burner is sloed and 63. production is
suppressed&3n the other hand) the o.ygen consumption of sub8bituminous coal
is fast near the burner and the formation of 63. is promoted&
(s the reactivity of both types of coal after the evaporation of moisture is high)
the uncombustion fraction of these types of coal are loer than those of lo
moisture coal&
(! "he greater the ash content) the higher the uncombustion fraction and 63.
conversion ratio& (s the reactive area decreases and the
consumption of o.ygen near the burner is sloed ith a higher ash content) the
formation and decomposition of 63. are delayed
(" (s coal ith a high moisture content has a higher reactivity than coal ith a
high ash content) the uncombustion fraction of coal ith a high moisture content
is loer& It is believed that coal ith a high moisture content is easier to use for
poer generation purposes& 9nfortunately) as this sub8bituminous coal tends to
generate a large amount of 63.) it is necessary to develop a
combustion technology that can suppress 63. emission&
!. #igh $uel Ratio Coal
(/) "he higher the fuel ratio of coal) the harder it is to ignite& :tudies sho that by
using a burner designed to create re8circulating currents to lengthen the time that
coal particles stay in the high temperature region near the burner) ignition can be
improved and the range of stable combustion can be idened &
(0) ;oth the concentration of 63. and concentration of unburned carbon in fly
ash are higher for high fuel ratio coal than for bituminous coal& "he 63.
conversion ratio of high fuel ratio coal) like that of bituminous coal) increases as
the fuel ratio increases or as the nitrogen content decreases although the
tendency is not as pronounced &3n the other hand) the uncombustion fraction
rises fairly sharply as the fuel ratio increases&
(5) It is believed that among the latest pulveri1ed coal fired poer plants
designed to meet environmental regulations) high fuel ratio coal ith a fuel ratio
of up to + can be used ith slight modification of the burners&
!xample "ndonesia#s Coal Properties
5oal M needs the highest po#er of pulveri=er to produce specified particle si=e.
Frindabilit% of standard coal is defined as +!!. "f the coal selected for use at po#er plant
has grindabilit% of .!, it #ould reEuire t#ice grinding po#er of standard coal to produce
specified particle si=e.
5oal B has the highest of sulphur content. -ulphur content in a coal is combustible and
generates some energ% b% its oxidation to -@, sulphur dioxide is ma4or source of
atmospheric pollution. $here is an environmental regulation on -@ emission. $he
operating cost of -@ removal eEuipment need be considered #hile selecting a coal #ith
high sulphur content.
5oal " has the highest of 88V. $he higher heating value /88V0 assumed that the #ater
vapor in the products condenses and thus includes the latent heat vapori=ation of the
#ater vapor formed b% combustion. $he highest 88V of coal means lo#er flo# rate of
coal to produce as same #ater vapor.
5oal M has the lo#est of ash softening temperature. "f the furnace temperature is higher
than the ash softening temperature, the ash #ill melt and #ould come out of the furnace
bottom continuousl% as molten slag. "t #ould be much slag if use coal M.
Combustion $ea%tion
@ne of the most important items is that the correct amount ox%gen must be supplied per
unit #eight of fuel burned to provide complete combustion. "n addition to the correct
>air-fuel? mixture, time must be allo#ed for complete mixing and burning, and the
furnace temperature must be such as to support combustion.
5ombustion in a furnace is best studied in connection #ith the ultimate anal%sis of the
fuel used and certain simple chemical reaction. 5ombustion computation for coal
assumed*
3eight of air reEuire for theoretical perfect combustion.
3eight of gas formed per pound of coal fired #ith theoretical perfect combustion.
5ubic feet of gas at boiler exit /6!!70 per pound of fuel fire #ith theoreticall% perfect
combustion.
,ercentage 5@ in exit gas on both dr% and #et basis.
Air is mechanicall% mixture in various gases, but principall% of ox%gen and nitrogen
being '.' percent ox%gen and 66.8 percent nitrogen b% #eight.
At 66! mm8g pressure /+4.6psia0 and '7, + mole of an% gas occupies '.1 cu ft.