southern company biomass co firing research l.
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Southern Company Biomass Co-firing Research - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Southern Company Biomass Co-firing Research. Southern Company Participants. Doug Boylan & Steve Wilson Southern Company Bill Zemo Alabama Power Kathy Russell Georgia Power. Switchgrass Co-firing Sponsors and Participants. Southern Company Auburn University EPRI

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Southern Company Biomass Co-firing Research

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southern company participants
Southern Company Participants

Doug Boylan & Steve Wilson Southern Company

Bill Zemo Alabama Power

Kathy Russell

Georgia Power

switchgrass co firing sponsors and participants
Switchgrass Co-firingSponsors and Participants
  • Southern Company
  • Auburn University
  • EPRI
  • Southern Research Institute
  • Wilson Farms
  • Sunbelt Expo
  • U.S. DOE
  • McBurney
biomass co firing technologies
Biomass Co-firing Technologies
  • Co-milling - mix biomass with coal and introduce into the furnace through the coal handling system
    • Simple procedure
    • Reduced capital cost
    • Reduced transport cost
    • Considerable system experience
  • Direct injection - introduce ground biomass pneumatically into the furnace through dedicated burners
    • Higher co-firing percentages
    • Direct biomass control
co milling switchgrass and coal
Co-Milling Switchgrass and Coal

Coal does not flow when mixed with low percentages of grass

pellet co firing potential advantages
Pellet Co-firing –Potential Advantages
  • Improved efficiency
  • Reduced plant capital
  • Reduced transportation
  • Reduced labor
  • Reduced dust

Cubes sensitive to

    • Moisture
    • Binder type and percentage
    • Grass type and rate
mitchell cube combustion
Mitchell – Cube Combustion
  • One week of testing completed
  • Cubes handle and burn fairly well
  • Serious bunker issues– Rat-holing
switchgrass co firing schematic

Switchgrass Bales

Metering Bin

Transport Fan

Tub grinder

Pneumatic Transport Lines

Upper Grass Burner

Upper Grass Burner


3 Levels of coal at each corner

Lower Grass Burner (not connected)

Switchgrass Co-firing Schematic
switchgrass co firing and boiler efficiency
Switchgrass Co-firing and Boiler Efficiency

(Full Load - 7% by heat input)

cement and ash tests
Cement and Ash Tests
  • ASTM specifications exclude biomass ash with coal ash for cement
  • Conducted tests with University of Alabama in Birmingham to evaluate effect of wood ash on cement properties
  • Coordinating efforts with ASTM
scr catalyst effects
SCR Catalyst Effects
  • SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) is NOx emission control device
  • Catalyst is affected by biomass ash
  • Pilot study at Plant Gadsden with EPRI
  • Direct injection with grass was technicalsuccess
  • Co-firing reduced emissions,but was a little less efficient
  • Cubes have problems
  • Grass co-firing cost predictions were about2.6¢/kWh to 3.0¢/kWh higher than coal power
  • Results suggest a subsidy will be required to make grass co-firing viable for an RPS
  • Biomass cannot be co-fired at some units for technical and cost reasons at this time
  • Research is on-going at Southern Company to address these issues