Potential high temperature corrosion problems due to co-firing of biomass and fossil fuels

Melanie Montgomery, T. Vilhelmsen, S.A. Jensen

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    Over the past few years, considerable high temperature corrosion problems have been encountered when firing biomass in power plants due to the high content of potassium chloride in the deposits. Therefore, to combat chloride corrosion problems cofiring of biomass with a fossil fuel has been undertaken. This results in potassium chloride being converted to potassium sulphate in the combustion chamber and it is sulphate rich deposits that are deposited on the vulnerable metallic surfaces such as high temperature superheaters. Although this removes the problem of chloride corrosion, other corrosion mechanisms appear such as sulphidation and hot corrosion due to sulphate deposits. At Studstrup power plant Unit 4, based on trials with exposure times of 3000 h using 0–20% straw co-firing with coal, the plant now runs with a fuel mix of 10% strawþcoal. Based on results from a 3 years exposure in this environment, the internal sulphidation is much more significant than that revealed in the demonstration project. Avedøre 2 main boiler is fuelled with wood pelletsþheavy fuel oilþgas. Some reaction products resulting from the presence of vanadium compounds in the heavy oil were detected, i.e. iron vanadates. However, the most significant corrosion attack was sulphidation attack at the grain boundaries of 18-8 steel after 3 years exposure. The corrosion mechanisms and corrosion rates are compared with biomass firing and coal firing. Potential corrosion problems due to co-firing biomass and fossil fuels are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMaterials and Corrosion
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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