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With Escalating Price of oil & gas during the last decade the world
power industry shifted from oil to coal as coal is abundant
compared with oil & gas.

Note now days Indian power industry struggling with coal also ,
but to know how the FBC technology comes in to the picture, it is
necessary to go through this.

With growing realization that the oil & gas are not going to be
available for electric power generation in the near future. The world
power industry is slowly moving for the old faithful fuel i.e. coal.


Pulverized fuel firing was developed earlier this century and
universally used throughout the world till today for power
Draw back of P.F. Boilers:-

A pulverized fuel fired furnace designed for a particular type of coal
cannot be used for any type of coal with same efficiency and safety.
The size of the coal used is limited i.e. 70-100 micron therefore large
investment is needed for coal preparing equipment & its
The ignition of the coal particles becomes easy & combustion
becomes steady when the temp in the furnace is 1650 deg
The amount of NOx formed is large compare with any type of
combustion system as the temperature maintained in the furnace is
high. The removal of SO2 demands high capital cost equipment.

New rules & regulation imposed by government for the
air pollution the cost of power generation went high as
extra equipment are needed to control the air pollution to
the required level.

At present the boiler are designed to suit the fuel
characteristics. The configuration and size of the boiler
furnaces and the burner differ considerably depending
upon whether the coal is anthracite,bituminous,lignite ,oil
or gas.

On other hand FBC can accept any fuel including low
grade coals, oil, gas or municipal waste.& also control of
Sox, Nox, emissions.


When a air is passed through a packed bed of finely
divided solid particles it experiences the pressure drop
across the bed. The mixture of solid particles and air is
like a fluid. Burning of a fuel in such a state is known as
fluidized bed combustion.

The fuel & inert material dolomite/limestone are fed on a
distributor plate and air is supplied from the bottom of
the distributor plate. High velocity of air keeps the solid
feed material in suspended condition during burining.the
generated heat is rapidly transferred to the water passing
through the tube immersed in the bed & generated steam
taken out.

During the burning SO2 formed is absorbed by the
dolomite /lime stone and prevent it escape with the
exhaust gases. The molten slag is tapped from the surface
of the bed in form of bed drain.

The combustion efficiency remain very high 99.5 % as very
high heat transfer rate are maintained over the surface of
the tube.

Even the poorest grade coal could burnt without
sacrificing combustion efficiency.

The heat transfer rate to the surface is high as the system
behave like a violently boiling liquid & nearly 50% of heat
transfer released in the bed is absorbed by the tubes.

The bed operating temperature of 800-900 is ideal
for sulphur retention by addition of limestone or
dolomite to the bed bring down SO2 emission level
to 15% of that in conventional firing method. Low
Nox emission is automatically achieved in FBC due
to low bed temperature & low excess air compared
to pulverized fuel furnace.
The cost economics shown that a saving of about
10% in operating cost & 15% in capital cost. Could
achieved for unit rating 120mw.
Size the of the coal used to preferred is 6 to 13mm.

Fluidization is the operation by which the solid are
transformed into fluid like state through air. When air is
passed vertically upward through a bed of solid particles
supported by grid.
Fixed bed:-
The air at low velocity will tends to follow the path of least
resistance & pass upward through the bed with pressure drop.
This is called fixed bed.
Minimum Fluidization:-
With increase in velocity of air a point is reached when the
solid particles just suspended in the upward flowing air. The
bed is considered to be just fluidized and referred to as a bed
at minimum fluidization.( the weight of the air in any section
of bed is equal to weight of air & solid particles in that section)

Any excess air above the minimum fluidization will cause
bubble formation and the excess air will escape the bed as
bubble. This state is called as bubbling bed.

As the velocity of air through bubbling bed is increased
the bed expands & the bubbles constantly collapse and
reform the bed surface is highly diffused & particles are
thrown off into freeboard above. Such a bed is called as
turbulent bed.
Circulating fluidized bed:-

Fix bed

Minimum fluidization velocity (Umf):-

The air velocity at which the pressure drop across the bed
becomes equals to the weight of the particles per unit
cross sectional area of the weight.

Terminal velocity (Ut):-

The air velocity at which particles entrainment
Occurs is called the terminal velocity. When the drag
forced of upward moving air is greater than the weight of
the particle.
The classification of FBC boilers

1) Bubbling bed.
2) Circulating bed.

Bubbling Circulating

V=3-5 m/sec 1-2m/sec up to 10m/sec ----

AFBC Boiler:-

In AFBC boiler coal is cursed to a size of 1-6mm and fed in
to the combustion chamber. the air enter through
distributors in to bed of sand at a velocity of 3-5 m/sec
turbulence is created.

The gaseous product of combustion pass over the
superheater,economiser,APH,ESP being exhausted to


THE PFBC is similar to AFBC but operated at high pressure
.the FD fan is replaced with a compressor and the
combustion is in pressure vessel. The heat release rate in
the bed be proportional to the bed pressure and hence
deep bed is used to extract large amount of heat. This is
not yet commercialized.


In circulating system the bed parameter are so maintained
as to promote solids elutriation from bed. they are lifted
in relatively dilute phase for solid riser and a down-comer
with a cyclone provide a return path for solid. There are
no steam generation tubes immersed in the bed.
Generation of superheating steam takes place in the
convection section.
It can use solid liquid and gaseous fuel or mix as well as domestic &
industrial waste.
High combustion efficiency.
The SO2 formed due to combustion of sulphur can be absorbed in
the fluidized bed.
The combustion in conventional system become unstable when the
ash exceed 48% but even 70% ash containing coal can efficiently
Flue gases from conventional oil-fired boiler plant-300-500ppm Nox
Coal fired plant -400-800ppm
FBC with oil -100-120ppm
FBC with coal 60-100ppm.
Pulverization of solid fuel is not necessary with fluidized bed
combustor. the maximum size of coal particle is limited to 6mm.

Bed Material Size:
0.85mm to 2.36mm (not below 0.85mm)
0.85 mm to 1.0 mm: 10%
1.0 mm to 1.5 mm: 50%
1.5 to 2.36 mm: 40%
Bed Material Specifications:
Crushed Fire Bricks Castable IS8 grade Bricks or River Silica Sand
Fusion Temperature : 1300 Deg. C.
Shape : Spherical Angular
Bulk Density (Kg/m3) : 1050
Silica (SiO2) : 68 %
Al203 : 28 %
Fe203 : 1.05%
PiO2 : 1.67%
MnO : Trace
CaO : 0.54%
MgO : 0.23%
P2O5 : 0.08%
A2O : 0.22%
K2O : 0.45%
Differential Pressure Test :-
Before going to bed material filling .we must know the cleanliness of
bubble caps. the fluidization depends on this aspect. Hence for
checking bubble cap cleanliness we have conduct DP test.
For conducting DP test following procedure to be follow.
Initially close the wind box & burner damper
ID fan PA fan suction discharge damper closed.
First start ID fan open discharge damper then suction damper maintain
the draft inside the furnace -5mmwc.
Start PA fan-1 open discharge damper then suction damper.
Start PA fan -2 open discharge damper then suction damper.
Open all burner damper & wind box damper
Increase the air flow by increasing the VFD of both PA fan and the
maintain the draft -5mmwc with the help of ID fan.
Boiler having total air flow requirement of 60-65 TPH for carring out
DP test.
Step by step increasing the air flow with help of PA fan increase upto
60 TPH by maintaining the draft -5mmwc and note down the WB Pr.

Note down the wind box pressure reading all reading are to be
taken in table given

S.NO. Air Flow in TPH Wind Box Pr mmwc


After completion of DP test with reading obtained we can
ensure the cleanliness of bubble caps .then we can
proceed for bed material filling.

Note down the wind box pressure reading at 60 TPH
keeping wind box & burner damper in open condition.

Maintain draft -5mmwc then start filling of bed material.

While filling the bed material intermittently observe the
wind box readings by observing the wind box pressure
reading also we can judge fluidization inside the furnace.

For judging the bed height we have to subtract the initial
wind box pressure reading from the present wind box
pressure reading.

Bed height=(Present WB Pr Initial WB Pr)

Case study:-
Effect of high bed height:-
a) Bed temperature will be low
b) Main steam temperature will be low
c) Pressure will be low
d) Air flow is also reduce
How bed height will be increase:-

All bed drain point is chocked .like emergency
drain ,normal drain, bed ash cooler problems.
If coal contain, percentage of ash more compare to
If using dolachar with coal.
If coal size is more
Unburnt present in bed
Shells present in coal.

When your bed height is increase your temp will drop
simultaneously your pressure will be drop.
To maintain the pressure & temperature to desired level in simple
way we will increase the coal feeding. So your sp.coal consumption
will increase. Because your bed height is increase condition.
If your bed height continuously maintain or increase above from
your desired level even your bed ash cooler is in running condition.
That means your bed height not maintaining with the help of 1 BAC.
In that case you have to start another bed ash cooler.
The cost of running another bed ash cooler is less when we
compare it with increase coal feeding.
I have consider the data of 1 hrs for calculation of cost difference.

On the bases of data we have.
Our coal feeding has increase 2T/hrs more or less. due to bed eight
increase from 820mmwc to 868mmwc
If cost of coal we have is -3500/- per tonne
So in 1hr we consume 2T more coal.
The cost of increase coal is = 2x3500 = 7000/-So in 1hr we consume
7000 Rs coal more .
This is because of increase bed height.
On other hand if we run another bed ash cooler to maintain the
desired bed height we save 10 times more with compare to coal
So to maintain the bed height 820mmwc we have to run another
bed ash cooler.

The cost of running 1 BAC .
The rating of BAC motor = 7.5kw.
The energy consumed by BAC in 1 hr =7.5kw.
As 1unit = 1kw
The cost of 1unit = 4.50/-
So cost to run the BAC = 4.50X7.5 =33.75/- in 1hrs.
The cost of running BAC is also less than 33.75 Rs because
we cannot run the BAC in full load. We always run it on
70% VFD.
Another thing is that .if to convey the bed material from
vessel to silo with the help of service air.
If service air pressure will be drop due to running of
another bed ash cooler form 6kg/ to 4.5kg/

To maintain the pressure we start another
The cost of running another comp for 1hrs is
Rating of compressor = 160kw
1 unit = 1kw.
Unit consume =160kw in 1 hr
Running cost of 1 hr =160 x 4.5 = 720/-
Cost of run the comp for 1hr =720 Rs.
The cost of increased coal feeding = 7000 Rs.
The cost to run the BAC & comp
=720 +33.75=755.75 Rs.
So from this we have seen that 10 times more
operating cost increases in 1hr because of increase
coal feeding.
From this to run another BAC to maintain bed
height is beneficial to instead of increase coal

Sulpher dioxide
Sulphur in coal react with oxygen present in
combustion air forms sulphur dioxide (SO2)
Why sulphur dioxide control.
When gaseous SO2 combine with water it forms
dilute solution of sulphurous acid (H2SO3)
SO2 +H2O ------- H2SO3

Sulphurous acid can easily oxidize in the
atmosphere to form sulphuric acid.
Dilute sulphuric acid is major constituent in acud
SO2 control in the combustor:-
Inexpensive material like lime stone ,dolamite use
as a sorbent to SO2 from fuel gas when lime stone
or dolamite added in bed reaction occurs.

CACO3 + 766btu/lb ------- CAO +CO2
The Cao lime react with gaseous SO2 and O2 at the
temp of around 815-830 decent exothermically to
form CASO4.
CAO +SO2+1/2 O2 ----------- CASO4.
CASO4 is chemically stable at fluidized bed
operating temp and is removed from the system as
a solid along with ash for disposal.

Control of Nox emission:-
In bubbling bed ,Nox emission are controlled to an
acceptable level due .
1) low operating temp around 815 descent.
Compared to pf fired boiler
This temp is too low for the N2 in the air to react
with oxygen
Nox also form by the nitrogen present in the fuel.
this reaction is highly dependent on the amount of
oxygen avaible for the reaction.

1) Clinker formation:-
Probable cause :-
a) more fuel in the combustor.
b) less air flow to the combustor.
c) low ash fusion temp.
a) Control fuel/air flow to the combustor.
b) bed temp should not be above ash fusion
Good start up avoid clinker formation.
2 High bed temp:-
Probable cause-
a) Less fines in the fuel
b) Low air to the combustor.
c) Bigger fuel size.
d) Low bed height.
e) More fuel in combustor.
a) Correct the fuel size & adjust the air flow.
b) Cut the fuel feed.
c) Increase the bed height by feeding the bed
Probable cause
a) high fines in fuel.
b) excess air to the combustor.
c) bed packing due to stone & shells.
d) clincker in the region.
a) correct the fuel size & adjust the air flow.
b) drain the bed & clear the heavy material from
the bed.
Probable cause :-
a)uneven coal concentration in bed.
a)adjust the fuel feeding setting.