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Air and oxy-fuel combustion behaviour of petcoke/lignite blends

Yuzbasi, Nur Sena
Selçuk, Nevin
The pyrolysis and combustion behaviour of a petroleum coke (petcoke), an indigenous lignite and their 70/30 wt.% blend in air and oxy-fuel conditions were investigated by using non-isothermal thermogravimetric method (TGA) coupled with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. Blend samples were prepared by mixing lignite, which has low calorific value, high ash and moisture contents with petcoke that has high calorific value, low ash and moisture content, in the proportion of 70:30. Pyrolysis tests were carried out in nitrogen and carbon dioxide environments which are the main diluting gases of air and oxy-fuel environments, respectively. Pyrolysis curves of parent fuels and their blend reveal close resemblance up to 700 degrees C in both N(2) and CO(2) environments. At higher temperatures, further weight loss taking place in N(2) and CO(2) atmospheres is attributed to calcite decomposition and CO(2)-char gasification reaction, respectively. Gasification reaction leads to significant increase in CO and COS formation as observed in FTIR evolution profiles. Almost identical experimental and theoretical pyrolysis profiles of the blend samples show that there is no synergy between the parent fuels of the blend in both pyrolysis environments. Combustion experiments were carried out in four different atmospheres; air, oxygen-enriched air environment (30% O(2)-70% N(2)), oxy-fuel environment (21% O(2)-79% CO(2)) and oxygen-enriched oxy-fuel environment (30% O(2)-70% CO(2)). Combustion experiments show that replacing nitrogen in the gas mixture by the same concentration of CO(2) leads to delay in combustion (lower maximum rate of weight loss and higher burnout temperatures). Overall comparison of derivative thermogravimetry (DTG) profiles shows that effect of oxygen content on combustion characteristics is more significant than that of diluting gas in the combustion environment. At elevated oxygen levels, profiles shift through lower temperature zone, peak and burnout temperatures decrease, weight loss rate increases significantly and complete combustion is achieved at lower temperatures and shorter times. Theoretical and experimental combustion profiles of the blend mainly display different trends, which indicate synergistic interactions between lignite and petcoke during their combustion in different environments.