This study discusses results of experiments on hydrodynamic assessment of gas flow through backbone (skeletal) porous materials with an anisotropic structure. The research was conducted upon materials of diversified petrographic characteristics – cokes. The study was conducted for a variety of hydrodynamic conditions, using air. The basis for assessing hydrodynamics of gas flow through porous material was a gas stream that results from the pressure forcing such flow. The results of measurements indicate a clear impact of the type of material on the gas permeability, and additionally – as a result of their anisotropic internal structure – to a significant effect of the flow direction on the value of gas stream. In aspect of scale transfer problem, a method of mapping the flow geometry of skeletal materials has been developed and usefulness of numerical methods has been evaluated to determine pressure drop and velocity distribution of gas flow. The results indicate the compliance of the used calculation method with the result of experiments.
The changes in the domestic solid fuel market (including forecasted increases in the fuel prices) and the growing requirements related to actual environmental standards, result in increased interest in renewable energy sources, such as biomass, wind and solar energy. These sources will allow to achieve reduction in the CO2 emission, and consequently – avoid environmental costs after 2020. Therefore, the development of distributed energy systems, based on the use of biomass boilers, gas boilers and high efficiency combined heat and power units, will enable the fulfillment of current standards in the field of energy efficiency and emission of pollutants to the atmosphere. It should be emphasized that the actions taken to reduce emissions (e.g. anti-smog act) will contribute to reducing coal consumption in the municipal and housing sector (households, agriculture and other customers) in favor of biomass and other renewable energy sources. The article reviews selected biomass technologies: - fluidized, dust and grate boilers, - straw-fired boilers, - cogeneration systems powered by biomass, - torrefaction and biomass carbonisation. The mentioned technologies are characterized by a high potential of in the field of dynamic development and practical application in the coming years. Thus, they can improve difficult situation in the distributed energy sector with a capacity up to 50 MW.
The paper presents the results and analysis of biomass processing in order to provide the conditions for the most profitable use of the biomass in modern and efficient power generation systems with particular attention put on the decrease of the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) and no need to develop carbon capture and storage plants. The promising concept of CO2 storage via the production of biochar and the advantages of its application as a promising carbon sink is also presented and the results are supported by authors’ own experimental data. The idea enables the production of electricity, as well as (optionally) heat and cold from the thermal treatment of biomass with simultaneous storage of the CO2 in a stable and environmentally-friendly way. The key part of the process is run in a specially-designed reactor where the biomass is heated up in the absence of oxygen. The evolved volatile matter is used to produce heat/cold and electricity while the remaining solid product (almost completely dry residue) is sequestrated in soil. The results indicate that in order to reduce the emission of CO2 the biomass should rather be ‘cut and char’ than just ‘cut and burn’, particularly that the charred biomass may also become a significant source of nutrients for the plants after sequestration in soil.
The influence of sewage sludge torrefaction temperature on fuel properties was investigated. Non-lignocellulosic waste thermal treatment experiment was conducted within 1 h residence time, under the following temperatures: 200, 220, 240, 260, 280 and 300°C. Sawdust was used as lignocellulosic reference material. The following parameters of biochar have been measured: moisture, higher heating value, ash content, volatile compounds and sulfur content. Sawdust biochar has been confirmed to be a good quality solid fuel. High ash and sulfur content may be an obstacle for biochar energy reuse. The best temperature profile for sawdust torrefaction and fuel production for 1 h residence time was 220°C. At this temperature the product contained 84% of initial energy while decreased the mass by 25%. The best temperature profile for sewage sludge was 240°C. The energy residue was 91% and the mass residue was 85%. Higher temperatures in both cases caused excessive mass and energy losses.
Among the numerous modern, high-efficiency energy technologies allowing for the conversion of chemical energy of coal into electricity and heat, the Direct Carbon Fuel Cells (DCFC) deserve special attention. These are devices that allow, as the only one among all types of fuel cells, to directly convert the chemical energy contained in solid fuel (coal) into electricity. In addition, they are characterized by high efficiency and low emission of pollutants. The paper reviews and discusses previous research and development works, both around the world and in Poland, into the technology of direct carbon fuel cells with an alkaline (hydroxide) electrolyte.
The influences of various operating conditions including cathode inlet air flow rate, electrolyte temperature and fuel particles size on the performance of the direct carbon fuel cell DCFC were presented and discussed in this paper. The experimental results indicated that the cell performance was enhanced with increases of the cathode inlet gas flow rate and cell temperature. Binary alkali hydroxide mixture (NaOH-LiOH, 90-10 mol%) was used as electrolyte and the biochar of apple tree origin carbonized at 873 K was used as fuel. Low melting temperature of the electrolyte and its good ionic conductivity enabled to operate the DCFC at medium temperatures of 723-773 K. The highest current density (601 A m−2) was obtained for temperature 773 K and air flow rate 8.3×106 m3s−1. Itwas shown that too low or too high air flow rates negatively affect the cell performance. The results also indicated that the operation of the DCFC could be improved by proper selection of the fuel particle size.