Sorbent behaviour in circulating fluidized bed combustors: Relevance of thermally induced fractures to particle size dependence

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The particle size dependence of the performance of various limestones and dolostones in capturing SO2 in fluidized bed combustors was determined and explained in terms of the occurrence of thermally induced fractures (TIFs). Data were obtained in a bench-scale fluidized bed reactor, a pilot-scale down-fired combustor and a 30 MW(e) circulating fluidized bed combustor (CFBC). Finer particle size fractions (100 × 400 mesh, 38-150 μm) had lower Ca/S molar ratios than coarser size fractions (> 100 mesh, > 150 μm) in the bed ash and recycle ash from the 30 MW(e) CFBC. Upon further sulfation of the ashes in a thermogravimetric analyser, the < 400 mesh (< 38 μm) fraction captured the most additional sulfur, indicating that these particles did not have sufficient residence time in the CFBC to be fully sulfated. For larger particles, the slow rate of SO2 diffusion through the product layer limited the extent of sulfation. Hotstage scanning electron microscopy and microprobe analysis of the sulfur distribution in the particles indicated that some sorbents developed thermally induced fractures, while others with comparable CaCO3 contents did not. The TIFs promoted SO2 diffusion into the particle and, as a consequence, the sulfation behaviour of such sorbents was less dependent on particle size than was that for sorbents which did not develop TIFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-768
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 1996


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry

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