Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Rheological Properties and Ignition and Combustion Characteristics of Biochar–Algae–Water Slurry Fuels

[+] Author and Article Information
Mingming Zhu

Centre for Energy (M473),
The University of Western Australia,
35 Stirling Highway,
Crawley 6009, WA, Australia
e-mail: Mingming.Zhu@uwa.edu.au

Zhezi Zhang

Centre for Energy (M473),
The University of Western Australia,
35 Stirling Highway,
Crawley 6009, WA, Australia
e-mail: Zhezi.Zhang@uwa.edu.au

Pengfei Liu

Centre for Energy (M473),
The University of Western Australia,
35 Stirling Highway,
Crawley 6009, WA, Australia
e-mail: 21584734@student.uwa.edu.au

Dongke Zhang

Centre for Energy (M473),
The University of Western Australia,
35 Stirling Highway,
Crawley 6009, WA, Australia
e-mail: Dongke.Zhang@uwa.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 4, 2017; final manuscript received January 4, 2018; published online March 14, 2018. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(6), 062203 (Mar 14, 2018) (6 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1405; doi: 10.1115/1.4039320 History: Received August 04, 2017; Revised January 04, 2018

This study examined the rheological properties, ignition, and combustion characteristics of biochar–algae–water (BAW) slurry fuels. A pine sawdust biochar with a median particle size (D50) of approximately 12 μm and algae Chlorella vulgaris in dry powder form with D50 of approximately 19 μm were used. The BAW slurries with a constant solid loading of 40 wt % and algae/biochar ratio varying from 0 to 0.2 by weight were prepared. The apparent viscosity was measured using a Haake VT550 cone-and-plate viscometer. The stability of the slurries was characterized using a “drop rod” method. Ignition and combustion characteristics of the slurries were studied using a suspended single-droplet technique. A single droplet of a slurry fuel with a diameter ranging from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm was suspended on a silicon carbide fibre and burned in air at 1023 K in an electrically heated tube furnace. The ignition and combustion processes of the droplet were recorded using a CCD camera at 200 fps. The ignition delay time, burnout time, and burning rate were determined. The BAW slurries showed shear-thinning flow behavior. The slurries had higher viscosity and greater stability at higher algae proportion in the solid. The ignition and combustion process of BAW slurries followed the sequence of water evaporation, devolatilization, ignition, and combustion of the solid residue. The combustion of the residual solid was diffusion controlled under the experimental conditions and the burning rates of the BAW slurry droplets ranged from 0.15 to 0.25 mm2 s−1.

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Fig. 8

Burning rates of single droplets of the slurry fuels against initial droplet sizes

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Fig. 7

(a) Ignition delay time and burnout times (b) of single droplets of the slurry fuels against initial droplet sizes

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Fig. 6

Typical images of burning droplets of B90A10 slurry fuel (d0 = 1.5 mm; t = 0 indicates the moment when the droplet arrived at the center of the furnace and Image 2 shows the moment of droplet ignition)

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Fig. 5

The stability characteristics of BAW slurry fuels

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Fig. 4

The shear stress as a function of shear rate of BAW slurry fuels

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Fig. 3

(a) viscosity at a shear rate of 100 s−1 and (b) yield stress of BAW slurry fuels

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Fig. 2

(a) A schematic diagram of the apparatus of single droplet combustion and (b) a typical grayscale-time history of a BAW slurry fuel droplet

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Fig. 1

Particle size distribution of solid particles used for preparing the BAW slurry fuels: (a) biochar and (b) algae



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