Conference Dates

May 1-5, 2011


Oxy-fuel fluidized bed combustion (FBC) is a new technology being developed for power production from carbonaceous fuels while producing a nearly pure steam of CO2 ready for sequestration or storage. Unlike oxy-fuel pulverized fuel combustion technology, oxy-fuel FBC offers the opportunity to use poor quality coals, hydrocarbon residues and a range of other materials including biomass. In Canada, pitches, tars and bottoms, in particular, are available in large quantities in western Canada, and this technology offers an opportunity to deal with many of these waste feedstocks in an environmentally benign manner. In addition, oxy-fuel circulating FBC (CFBC) can be fired at lower flue gas recycle ratio, offering potentially smaller plants for any given power output, and can capture sulphur in situ. CanmetENERGY has been operating a 75 kW oxy-fuel CFBC since 2006 with full flue gas recycle. Initial results were very encouraging and in order to further study oxy-fuel FBC technology, a 0.8 MWth CFBC unit has been retrofitted for oxy-fuel research. The facility is used to emulate commercial oxy-fuel CFBC performance. The modifications included adding oxygen supply, flue gas recycle train, airtight fly ash discharge, flue gas compressor for baghouse pulsing and system purge, etc., as well as upgrading the control and instrumentation for oxy-firing. The most major challenge has been to properly seal the entire CFBC unit to prevent air ingress. Fuels fired during the commissioning phase included bituminous coal and petroleum coke from the US, and lignite from Saskatchewan. Combustion under oxy-fuel conditions has proved to be very stable and the transition from air firing mode to oxyfuel firing mode and vice versa were quick and presented little operational difficulties. This work has demonstrated that the retrofitted oxy-fuel CFBC can produce a stream of flue gas containing 80% to 90% CO2. The NOx emissions were significantly lower compared to air firing in CFBC with the same fuel. SO2 capture was in the range of 70% to 75%, but limestone utilization is lower than in air-firing mode, and research is on-going to better understand sulphation under oxy-firing conditions.