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The amount of unburned carbon in ash is an important performance characteristic in commercial boilers fired with pulverized coal. Unburned carbon levels are known to be sensitive to fuel selection, and there is great interest in methods of estimating the burnout propensity of coals based on proximate and ultimate analysis--the only fuel properties readily available to utility practitioners. A simple numerical model is described that is specifically designed to estimate the effects of coal selection on burnout in a way that is useful for commercial coal screening. The model is based on a highly idealized description of the combustion chamber but employs detailed descriptions of the fundamental fuel transformations. The model is validated against data from laboratory and pilot-scale combustors burning a range of international coals, and then against data obtained from full-scale units during periods of coal switching. The validated model form is then used in a series of sensitivity studies to explore the role of various individual fuel properties that influence burnout.
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Keywords: char; combustion; numerical modeling; unburned carbon

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA 2: Niksa Energy Associates, Belmont, California, USA 3: Fossil Energy Research Corp., Laguna Hills, California, USA 4: Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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