Influence of Coal Quality on Combustion Performance

Robert Pieter Van Der Lans, Peter Glarborg, Kim Dam-Johansen, Poul Knudsen, Gerry Hesselmann, Peter Hepburn

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Three coals have been fired in a tangentially and an opposed fired full scale power plant (about 400 MWe) and in a pilot scale test rig (160 kWt) in order to investigate the influence of coal quality on nitrogen oxide (NO) formation and unburned carbon in relation to furnace design. In-flame and furnace gas temperatures have been measured, and substantial differences in temperature between the coals were observed in the full scale furnaces. Identical trends in NO emission as a function of coal type were obtained for the three furnaces. The emissions correlated well with the high temperature volatile yield obtained from heated wire mesh analysis. Under air staging conditions the pilot scale test rig was able to reproduce quantitatively the amount of NO from the tangentially fired plant, which operates with over fire air. This is probably due to the relatively small influence of the near burner mixing pattern on NO formation under these conditions. Emissions from the opposed fired plant with all combustion air introduced through the burners could only be qualitatively reproduced by the pilot furnace. Under single stage conditions the test rig provided higher NO levels. Carbon in ash levels did not show any correlation between the coals and the furnaces. An engineering, mathematical model has been developed describing radiation heat transfer and coal combustion in full scale furnaces. The model has been validated against measured temperatures and the amount of carbon in fly ash. The model was well able to predict average temperature and carbon in ash levels, but failed to predict the influence of coal quality on both temperature and carbon in ash. A brief parametric study has been performed on important model parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1317-1328
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • combustion experiments
  • coal quality
  • radiation modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of Coal Quality on Combustion Performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this