53 research outputs found

    Integrating phytoremediation with biomass valorisation and critical element recovery: A UK contaminated land perspective

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    In the UK, the widespread presence of elemental contaminants such as arsenic and nickel in contaminated sites and more widely release of platinum group metals into the biosphere are growing concerns. Phytoremediation has the potential to treat land contaminated with these elements at low cost. An integrated approach combining land remediation with post-process biomass to energy conversion and high value element recovery is proposed to enhance the financial viability of phytoremediation. An analytical review of plant species suitable for the phytoremediation of nickel, Arsenic and platinum group metals is reported. Additionally, a preliminary model is developed to assess the viability of the proposed approach. A feasibility appraisal using Monte Carlo simulation to analyse project risk suggests high biomass yield plant species can significantly increase the confidence of achieving financial return from the project. The order of financial return from recovering elements was found to be: Ni > Pt > As

    A hydrodynamic study of a fast‐bed dual circulating fluidized bed for chemical looping combustion

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    This study explores the use of a dual interconnected circulating fluidized bed (CFB) for chemical looping combustion. This design can enhance gas–solid interactions, but it is difficult to control the solid transfer and circulation rates. With the use of a 1:1 scale cold-flow model, an investigation determining the hydrodynamic behavior of the dual CFB system has been conducted. The cold-flow system consists of two identical fast-bed risers, each with an internal diameter of 100 mm and a height of 7 m. The simplified cold-flow model is based on the chemical looping Pilot-Scale Advanced CO2 Capture Technology (PACT) facility at Cranfield. Here, we have determined the minimum fluidization and transport velocities, and we have assessed the solid density profiles, transport capacity, and potential for the dilution by air/N2 leakage into the CO2 stream exiting the fuel reactor. The experimental procedure uses two different bed materials, molochite (ceramic clay) and FE100 (iron particles), and it satisfies the dynamic scaling laws to model the bed inventory within the system. The results indicate that the two fast-bed risers share similar density and pressure profiles. Stable circulation can be achieved through pneumatic transport. The circulation rate of the system is flexible and can be adjusted by altering the fluidization velocity in the riser and by altering the bed inventory. The gas leakage from the loop seal to the cyclone was found to be sensitive to the bed height and fluidization velocity in the loop seal. However, by maintaining a loop-seal bed height above 600 mm during operation, the outlet stream remains undiluted

    Solid–gaseous phase transformation of elemental contaminants during the gasification of biomass

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    Disposal of plant biomass removed from heavy metal contaminated land via gasification achieves significant volume reduction and can recover energy. However, these biomass often contain high concentrations of heavy metals leading to hot-corrosion of gasification facilities and toxic gaseous emissions. Therefore, it is of significant interest to gain a further understanding of the solid–gas phase transition of metal(loid)s during gasification. Detailed elemental analyses (C, H, O, N and key metal/metalloid elements) were performed on five plant species collected from a contaminated site. Using multi-phase equilibria modelling software (MTDATA), the analytical data allows modelling of the solid/gas transformation of metal(loid)s during gasification. Thermodynamic modelling based on chemical equilibrium calculations was carried out in this study to predict the fate of metal(loid) elements during typical gasification conditions and to show how these are influenced by metal(loid) composition in the biomass and operational conditions. As, Cd, Zn and Pb tend to transform to their gaseous forms at relatively low temperatures ( 1200 °C). Simulation of pressurised gasification conditions shows that higher pressures increase the temperature at which solid-to-gaseous phase transformations takes place.The authors wish to thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the financial support to carry out this work through grant number EP/K026216/1 (Cleaning Land for Wealth) and a SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub Small Grant

    Nitrogen and sulfur conversion during pressurized pyrolysis under CO2 atmosphere in fluidized bed

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    Pressurized oxy-fuel combustion (POFC) is a promising technology for CO2 capture from coal-fired power plants, offering both high efficiency and a low penalty. However, the high partial pressure of CO2 in a POFC furnace has important impacts on fuel-N and fuel-S conversion during the coal pyrolysis process, and understanding this will help to achieve further control of SOx/NOx. In this study, coal pyrolysis experiments were conducted in a pressurized fluidized bed with the pressure range of 0.1–0.7 MPa under N2 and CO2 atmosphere. The gaseous products were monitored by a Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analyzer (FTIR) and the char residue was characterized by an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyzer in order to acquire the species information for S-containing and N-containing compounds. Results show that the enrichment of CO2 in the local atmosphere enhances the fuel-N conversion to HCN in the pyrolysis process, which serves as a favorable precursor to N2O. The generation of HCN and NH3 increase simultaneously with the increase of overall pressure. SO2 concentration in the gaseous product is relatively low, and as the pressure increases, the concentration decreases slightly due to CO reduction of SO2 to COS. Sulfur content in the char decreases as the pressure goes from 0.1 MPa to 0.7 MPa indicating higher CO2 pressure accelerates the decomposition of sulfur compounds in the coal, which is further confirmed by the XPS results

    CO2 capture and attrition performance of competitive eco-friendly calcium-based pellets in fluidized bed

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    A system incorporating spent bleaching clay (SBC) into the calcium looping (CaL) process has been proposed. In this paper, prepared sorbents doped with regenerated SBC and cement were tested in a bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) to examine in detail their cyclic CO2 capture capacity and attrition properties. The results revealed that the cyclic CO2 capture capacity of pellets modified by pyrolyzed SBC and/or cement showed significantly better performance than limestone, which is consistent with the thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) results. This is due to the improvement of pore structure and enhanced sintering resistance created by adding support materials to the sorbent. The elutriation rates of the composites prepared with pyrolyzed SBC and/or cement were consistently lower than for crushed limestone. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images indicated that the pellets possessed higher sphericity than limestone particles, thus reducing surface abrasion. Limestone exhibited a high attrition rate (diameter reduction rate) of 10.7 μm/cycle, which could be eliminated effectively by adding regenerated SBC and/or cement. ‘L‐5PC‐10CA’ (85% lime/5% pyrolyzed SBC/10% cement) exhibited an attrition rate of only 7.9 μm/cycle. Based on the analysis of breakage and probability density function (PDF) for particle size distribution, it appeared that pellets without cement experienced breakage (mostly chipping and disintegration) and surface abrasion, whereas ‘L‐10CA’ (90% lime/10% cement) and ‘L‐5PC‐10CA’ mainly suffered surface abrasion, combined with some chipping

    Observation of simultaneously low CO, NOx and SO2 emission during oxy-coal combustion in a pressurized fluidized bed

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    Pressurized oxy-fuel combustion is a promising technology for CO2 capture with respect to its high combustion efficiency and the simultaneous reduction of gaseous pollutants. A 10 kWth bubbling fluidized bed reactor with continuous coal-feeding was designed, and effects of pressure, temperature and fuel types on pollutant emission were investigated in detail. Generally, the relatively low carbon content in the ash and CO concentration in the flue gas demonstrated that the combustion efficiency was improved by high pressure. The concentration of NO, N2O and SO2 showed decreasing trends with the increase of pressure. Moreover, the effect of pressure on the emission of NO and SO2 in the lower pressure (≤0.3 MPa) was more pronounced than that in the higher pressure. The concentrations of NO and SO2 correlated positively with temperature, while for N2O, it had a negative correlation. Compared with air combustion, NO and SO2 emission dropped sharply in 21%O2/79%CO2 atmosphere. However, N2O concentration during oxy-combustion was slightly higher than that in air combustion in the range of experimental pressure

    From waste to high value utilization of spent bleaching clay in synthesizing high-performance calcium-based sorbent for CO 2 capture

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    A novel calcium looping (CaL) process integrated with a spent bleaching clay (SBC) treatment is proposed whereby fuels and/or heat from regeneration of SBC provide extra energy for the calcination process, in addition, the regenerated SBC can be used to synthesize enhanced CaO-based sorbents. Different kinds of composite samples were prepared with the regenerated SBC and/or aluminate cement at various doping ratios via a pelletization process. All pellets were subjected to thermogravimetic analyzer tests employing severe reaction conditions to determine the optimal doping ratios and regeneration method for the SBC based sorbents. These results demonstrate that pellets containing combustible components showed higher CO2 uptakes, due to the improved pore structure, which was verified by N2 adsorption measurements. The as-prepared sorbent “L-10PC” (90 wt.% CaO/10 wt.% pyrolytic SBC) achieved a final CO2 uptake of 0.164 g(CO2) g(calcined sorbent)−1 after 20 cycles, which was 67.3% higher than that of natural limestone particle. A new larnite (Ca2SiO4) phase was detected by X-ray diffraction analysis, however the weak diffraction peak associated with it indicated a low content of larnite in the pellets, which produced a smaller effect on performance compared to cement. A synergistic effect was achieved for a sample designated as “L-5PC-10CA” (85 wt.% CaO/5 wt.% pyrolytic SBC /10 wt.% cement), which resulted in the highest final uptake of 0.208 g(CO2) g(calcined sorbent)−1 after 20 cycles. Considering the simplicity of pyrolysis regeneration process and the excellent capture capability of pellets doped by pyrolytic SBC, the proposed system integrating CaL with SBC pyrolysis treatment appears to offer particular promise for further development

    Combustion characteristics of lignite char in a fluidized bed under O2/N2, O2/CO2 and O2/H2O atmospheres

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    As a possible new focus of oxy-fuel work, O2/H2O combustion has many advantages over O2/CO2 combustion, and has gradually gained increasing attention. The unique physicochemical properties (thermal capacity, diffusivity, reactivity) of H2O significantly influence the char combustion characteristics. In the present work, the combustion and kinetics characteristics of lignite char particle were studied in a fluidized bed (FB) reactor under N2, CO2 and H2O atmospheres with different O2 concentrations (15%–27%) and bed temperatures (Tb, 837–937 °C). Results indicated that the average reaction rate (raverage) and the peak reaction rate (rpeak) of lignite char in H2O atmospheres were slower than those in CO2 atmospheres at low O2 concentrations. However, as the O2 concentration increases, the rpeak and raverage of lignite char in H2O atmospheres significantly improved and exceeded those under CO2 atmospheres. The calculation result for the activation energy based on the shrinking-core model showed that the order of activation energy under different atmospheres is: O2/CO2 (28.96 kJ/mol) > O2/H2O (26.11 kJ/mol) > O2/N2 (23.31 kJ/mol). Furthermore, gasification reactions play an important role in both O2/CO2 and O2/H2O combustion, and should not be ignored. As the Tb increased, the active sites occupied by gasification agent were significantly increased, while the active sites occupied by oxygen decreased correspondingly

    Effect of steam hydration on reactivity and strength of cement-supported calcium sorbents for CO2 capture

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    Steam hydration was used to reactivate spent cement-supported CO2 sorbent pellets for recycle and the effect of steam hydration on the reactivity of sorbents was investigated in a bubbling fluidised reactor. A specially designed impact apparatus was developed to evaluate the strength of the reactivated pellets as well as determine the effect of “superheating”. It was found that the reactivity of synthetic pellets was significantly elevated over that of raw limestone after steam hydration. The CaO conversion of spent pellets increased from 0.113 to 0.419 after hydration, whereas that of spent limestone ranged from 0.089 to 0.278. The CaO conversions of hydrated samples calcined under different conditions achieved the identical level, proportional to the degree of hydration. As expected, the mechanical strength of synthetic pellets declined severely after reactivation. Large cracks emerged on hydrated limestone as seen in scanning electron microscope images. By contrast, similar cracks were not observed for synthetic pellets after hydration, although hydration did produce higher porosity than seen with limestone and an increased surface area, which enhanced CO2 capacity and was associated with an increase in strength loss. The breakage rate of superheated steam-reactivated limestone derived pellets was about half that of hydrated samples. This demonstrates that superheating treatment (which allows the annealing of stacking faults and mechanical strain produced by hydration) enhances the strength of hydrated pellets. This work demonstrated that combining steam hydration with superheating can both reactivate the spent synthetic pellets and reduce strength decay associated with the hydration process

    Migration and emission of mercury from circulating fluidized bed boilers co-firing petroleum coke and coal

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    The migration and emission of mercury (Hg) were studied for three 410 t/h circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers co-firing petroleum coke and coal. Both the Ontario Hydro Method (OHM) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 30B were employed to sample gas phase emissions of mercury from the flue gas, and to compare the agreement for these different measurement methods in industrial application. Concurrent with flue gas sampling, solid and liquid samples including fuel, bottom ash, fly ash and gypsum, wastewater, etc., were also collected to determine the total mass balance and map the mercury migration from the power plant. The results showed that the mass balance rates ranged from 83.9% to 122.7%, which can be considered to be both acceptable and reliable. The vast majority of mercury emitted was distributed in the fly ash and stack gas, accounting for 61.36–67.71% and 22.22–33.35%, respectively. The total Hg concentration measured by OHM is comparable with that determined by EPA Method 30B; however, EPA Method 30B possesses advantages in terms of flexibility. The fabric filter (FF) has better Hg0 and Hg2+ removal efficiencies than the electrostatic precipitator (ESP). Because the Hg contained in the liquid waste streams greatly exceeded Chinese regulations, the main emphasis of future work should be focused on wastewater treatment. The mercury emission factors in this study are in the range of 0.69 g/TJ-0.80 g/TJ, which provides basic data for such CFB power plants in China. The CFB boilers equipped with ESP + WFGD or FF + WFGD appear to have the potential to significantly reduce Hg emission to the atmosphere
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