Biomass serves as an alternative energy solution for decarbonizing coal-fired power plants, which have been reactivated in several countries due to the global energy crisis. Oil palm waste, owing to its abundant availability, holds significant potential as a biomass fuel. This study aimed to investigate the combustion performance of various oil palm wastes in comparison to coal. Biomass combustion is associated with ash-related problems such as slagging, fouling, and corrosion, which may accelerate ash deposit acceleration, reduce heat transfer, and damage refractory equipment in boilers. Ash-related problems were evaluated using the method commonly adopted for solid fuel, including experimental drop tube furnace combustion and ash observation. The results indicate that each oil palm waste has different combustion characteristics. Palm leaves, empty fruit bunch, and palm fronds with clean probe observation have a relatively low tendency of slagging and fouling and can be recommended as biomass fuel for co-firing. However, their high alkali and iron contents need to be considered. Palm fiber has similar combustion characteristics to coal, but it has a high slagging and fouling tendencies. The palm stems with high chlorine content have a high corrosion tendency confirmed by probe observation, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction analyses.
- Oil palm waste