Development of a Low NOx Burner System for Coal Fired Power Plants Using Coal and Biomass Blends
The low NOx burner (LNB) is the most cost effective technology used in coal-fired power plants to reduce NOx. Conventional (unstaged) burners use primary air for transporting particles and swirling secondary air to create recirculation of hot gases. LNB uses staged air (dividing total air into primary, secondary and tertiary air) to control fuel bound nitrogen from mixing early and oxidizing to NOx; it can also limit thermal NOx by reducing peak flame temperatures. Previous research at Texas A&M University (TAMU) demonstrated that cofiring coal with feedlot biomass (FB) in conventional burners produced lower or similar levels of NOx but increased CO. The present research deals with i) construction of a small scale 29.31 kW (100,000 BTU/hr) LNB facility, ii) evaluation of firing Wyoming (WYO) coal as the base case coal and cofiring WYO and dairy biomass (DB) blends, and iii) evaluating the effects of staging on NOx and CO. Ultimate and Proximate analysis revealed that WYO and low ash, partially composted, dairy biomass (LA-PC-DB-SepS) had the following heat values and empirical formulas: CH0.6992N0.0122O0.1822S0.00217 and CH_1.2554N_0.0470O_0.3965S_0.00457. The WYO contained 3.10 kg of Ash/GJ, 15.66 kg of VM/GJ, 0.36 kg of N/GJ, and 6.21 kg of O/GJ while LA-PC-DB-SepS contained 11.57 kg of Ash/GJ, 36.50 kg of VM/GJ, 1.50 kg of N/GJ, and 14.48 kg of O/GJ. The construction of a LNB nozzle capable of providing primary, swirled secondary and swirled tertiary air for staging was completed. The reactor provides a maximum residence time of 1.8 seconds under hot flow conditions. WYO and DB were blended on a mass basis for the following blends: 95:5, 90:10, 85:15, and 80:20. Results from firing pure WYO showed that air staging caused a slight decrease of NOx in lean regions (equivalence ratio, greater than or equal to 1.0) but an increase of CO in rich regions (=1.2). For unstaged combustion, cofiring resulted in most fuel blends showing similar NOx emissions to WYO. Staged cofiring resulted in a 12% NOx increase in rich regions while producing similar to slightly lower amounts of NOx in lean regions. One conclusion is that there exists a strong inverse relationship between NOx and CO emissions.
Gomez, Patsky O. (2009). Development of a Low NOx Burner System for Coal Fired Power Plants Using Coal and Biomass Blends. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from