Modeling and Evaluation of Ash-Forming Element Fate and Occurrence in Woody Biomass Combustion in an Entrained-Flow Burner

Wahyu Meka, Janos Szuhanszki, Karen Finney, Bijal Gudka, Jenny Jones, Mohamed Pourkashanian, Paul S. Fennell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Biomass combustion equipment is often susceptible to ash deposition due to the relatively significant quantities of potassium, silicon, and other ash-forming elements in biomass. To evaluate the propensity for ash deposition resulting from biomass combustion, a biomass combustion model was integrated with a chemical equilibrium model to predict the fate and occurrence of ash-forming elements in a pilot-scale entrained-flow burner. The integrated model simulated the combustion of white wood (virgin wood) and recycled wood (treated wood) previously combusted in the burner. The key advantage of this model in comparison to a model with general equilibrium assumed is that it was able to consider the rate of release of trace and minor species with time, the local equilibrium in the particles, and separately, that in the continuum phase (which also included any solid or liquid materials nucleating). The simulation generated the fate and occurrence profiles of each ash-forming element along the burner. The qualitative comparisons between the modeled profiles and the previous experimental findings under similar operating conditions show reasonable agreement. The concentrations of ash-forming elements released from the burner were also compared with the experimental online inductively coupled plasma readings. However, the latter comparison shows overestimation using the modeled results and might suggest that further considerations of other parameters such as ash nucleation and coagulation are required. Nonetheless, based on the ongoing performance of the integrated model, future use of the model might be expanded to a broader range of problematic solid fuels such as herbaceous biomass or municipal solid waste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16306-16322
Number of pages17
JournalACS Omega
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


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