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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Print version ISSN 0038-223X

Abstract

GAUVILLE, P; FOUCHER, J.-C.  and  MOREAU, D. Achievable combustion efficiency with Alstom CFB boilers for burning discarded coal. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.6, pp. 437-447. ISSN 0038-223X.

The key driver for choosing a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler is the ability to burn a wide range of fuels with highly efficient combustion while meeting low emission requirements. Reduced sorbent and water consumption compared with pulverized coal (PC) plants and the ability to deal with corrosive fuel constituents while still meeting local regulations make a CFB boiler-based power plant particularly attractive. CFB-based power generation is particularly relevant in coal mining areas. During mining, a portion of the roof and floor material may be extracted along with the coal seam in order to create adequate working height for the equipment and miners. Therefore, run-of-mine coal which comes directly from the mine contains impurities. The raw coal can undergo a washing or screening process in order to improve its quality by reducing the ash content in the fuel in order to sell it on the export market or to comply with domestic customer requirements. The coal discarded from the washing process usually has a high ash content and difficult mechanical properties resulting from the initial properties, the mining, and the coal cleaning processes. It can contain a large volume of stones or can be very fine as a result of the washing treatment. To create value from burning this discarded coal, the boiler supplier has to meet several technical challenges in developing the appropriate design. This paper highlights the performance achieved with Alstom's CFB boilers developed for power generation over the last two decades to extract value from discarded coals. Emile Huchet Power Plant is the first 125 MWe CFB unit developed for burning coal slurries (called schlamms in France). The Emile Huchet discarded coal fuel is a very fine high-ash residue with an average particle diameter by mass (d50) of around 80 μm as received from the washing plant. The paper describes the performances and the basic design of the CFB boiler to manage such a fine fuel. The performances of two other CFBs of approximately 300 MWe output in operation in the USA and PR China are also mentioned to demonstrate the capability of this technology to burn either low-volatile bituminous or anthracite waste coals. The significant issues experienced during commissioning are reported, and the conceptual choices for burning such fuels are mentioned.

Keywords : CFB; performances; discarded coal; coal mines.

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