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Title: COAL SLAGGING AND REACTIVITY TESTING

Union Fenosa's La Robla I Power Station is a 270-MW Foster Wheeler arch-fired system. The unit is located at the mine that provides a portion of the semianthracitic coal. The remaining coals used are from South Africa, Russia, Australia, and China. The challenges at the La Robla I Station stem from the various fuels used, the characteristics of which differ from the design coal. The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) and the Lehigh University Energy Research Center (LUERC) undertook a program to assess problematic slagging and unburned carbon issues occurring at the plant. Full-scale combustion tests were performed under baseline conditions, with elevated oxygen level and with redistribution of air during a site visit at the plant. During these tests, operating information, observations and temperature measurements, and coal, slag deposit, and fly ash samples were obtained to assess slagging and unburned carbon. The slagging in almost all cases appeared due to elevated temperatures rather than fuel chemistry. The most severe slagging occurred when the temperature at the sampling port was in excess of 1500 C, with problematic slagging where first-observed temperatures exceeded 1350 C. The presence of anorthite crystals in the bulk of the depositsmore » analyzed indicates that the temperatures were in excess of 1350 C, consistent with temperature measurements during the sampling period. Elevated temperatures and ''hot spots'' are probably the result of poor mill performance, and a poor distribution of the coal from the mills to the specific burners causes elevated temperatures in the regions where the slag samples were extracted. A contributing cause appeared to be poor combustion air mixing and heating, resulting in oxygen stratification and increased temperatures in certain areas. Air preheater plugging was observed and reduces the temperature of the air in the windbox, which leads to poor combustion conditions, resulting in unburned carbon as well as slagging. A second phase of the project involved advanced analysis of the baseline coal along with an Australian coal fired at the plant. These analysis results were used in equilibrium thermodynamic modeling along with a coal quality model developed by the EERC to assess slagging, fouling, and opacity for the coals. Bench-scale carbon conversion testing was performed in a drop-tube furnace to assess the reactivity of the coals. The Australian coal had a higher mineral content with significantly more clay minerals present than the baseline coal. The presence of these clay minerals, which tend to melt at relatively low temperatures, indicated a higher potential for problematic slagging than the baseline coal. However, the pyritic minerals, comprising over 25% of the baseline mineral content, may form sticky iron sulfides, leading to severe slagging in the burner region if local areas with reducing conditions exist. Modeling results indicated that neither would present significant fouling problems. The Australian coal was expected to show slagging behavior much more severe than the baseline coal except at very high furnace temperatures. However, the baseline coal was predicted to exhibit opacity problems, as well as have a higher potential for problematic calcium sulfate-based low-temperature fouling. The baseline coal had a somewhat higher reactivity than the Australian coal, which was consistent with both the lower average activation energy for the baseline coal and the greater carbon conversion at a given temperature and residence time. The activation energy of the baseline coal showed some effect of oxygen on the activation energy, with E{sub a} increasing at the lower oxygen concentration, but may be due to the scatter in the baseline coal kinetic values at the higher oxygen level tested.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
835518
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-98FT40321
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Oct 2003
Research Org:
University of North Dakota (US)
Sponsoring Org:
(US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; ACTIVATION ENERGY; AIR HEATERS; ANORTHITE; CALCIUM; COAL; COMBUSTION; FLY ASH; IRON SULFIDES; KINETICS; OPACITY; STRATIFICATION; TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT; TESTING; THERMODYNAMICS