Hybrid particle separator for small and medium biomass boilers

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Daniel Wohter

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Together with three partners, TEER develops a hybrid system for the separation of particulate matter from flue gas from decentralized biomass boilers. The development targets particularly boilers with a thermal input from 50 to 500 kW for alternative fuels (for example miscanthus) and residual biomass.

Because of significantly heightened fine dust levels of decentralized biomass furnaces compared to gas or oil-fired boilers, a further development of filters is needed. The desired climate-friendliness is accompanied by emissions like particulate matter – which is viewed more and more critically. At the primary side, only the use of extensively processed and therefore expensive premium fuels can fulfil the legal emission requirements of the Federal Emission Control Act. For many biomass plants, secondary measures situated downstream are necessary to attain low-emission levels.

Particularly with regard to the development of particle separators situated after boilers running on alternative fuels or residual biomass, there is high potential for optimization. Fine dust emissions above 150 mg/m3 require degrees of separation that are unreached by available and economical state of the art technology. Furthermore, carbon-based, condensable particles and soot from start up and shut down phases are problematic for many separator models with respect to tool life and efficiency.

The hybrid system builds upon the current state of technology for particle separators. At the nominal load operation, an electrostatic separator works with a double ionization zone and a high separator surface. The unusual construction, at least in the field of biomass boilers, enables a higher separation of salt and metal based particles. A depth filter model securely separating the carbon-based particles supports the electrostatic unit in the boilers’ start up and shut down phases.

The R&D at TEER focuses on the conception of a depth filter module for the separation of carbon-based particles. The scientific emphasis lies on the separation mechanisms of condensed organic particles with diameters in the rage of nano- and micrometers on fibrous material layers.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports the research project with the reference number ZF4224202RJ7 due to a resolution of the German Bundestag.

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy