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(704d) Novel Biomass-Supported Sorbents for Coal Combustion Desulfurization

Chu, S., University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Tompsett, G., University of Massachusetts
Yang, J., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Zhu, C., University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Mountziaris, T. J., University of Massachusetts
Dauenhauer, P., University of Massachusetts Amherst

Coal is the largest source of energy for electricity generation in North America with over 200 years of supply available at the current consumption rate.  At the same time, biomass is an attractive renewable fuel to supplement coal combustion.  Although co-firing coal and biomass can reduce the total emissions per unit energy produced, more advanced technology will still be necessary to meet stricter emission regulations. A novel biomass-supported, calcium-based material named ReEngineered FeedstockTM (ReEF) has been developed by ReCommunity Inc. which combines waste paper and plastics from local sources integrating desulfurization sorbents into a fuel matrix.  By directly injecting ReEF with coal into combustors, the biomass support burns to provide additional energy, thus releasing the calcium sorbent particles into the reactor to form solid, sulfated ash.  The desulfurization performance of the ReEF containing 65 wt% biomass and 35 wt% high surface area calcium hydroxide are studied in this work in a quartz drop tube reactor. Characterization of ReEF including elemental analysis, SEM-EDS, XRD and TGA reveals the compositions of ReEF and the distribution of the calcium sorbent on the biomass support. The effects of reactor temperature, oxygen concentration and particle size on the desulfurization are studied to determine optimal ReEF design. The application of ReEF will impact communities across the country to achieve zero waste, thus improving air quality and helping local economies progress towards sustainable energy production.