A continuation of 20 years of EU-Funded research on fuel characterization, ash and deposit formation, and corrosion
Heating and cooling are responsible for approximately half of EU’s final energy demand, while
biomass is currently responsible for more than 90% of all renewable heat. The goal is to increase
share of biomass-based technologies, in the European heat market, from 11% in 2007 to about 25%
in 2020 [RHC-Platform, 2014]. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) from biomass is a suitable
technology for medium- and large-scale units, where many utility and industrial applications can be
found, especially in Scandinavia. The main challenge for efficient CHP and high temperature steam
production from biomass are ash-related problems. Corrosion due to the difficult ash composition of
biomass limits both steam temperature and efficiency. By solving these issues, large-scale boilers
offer a huge potential for efficiency increase and emission reduction, during CHP generation at costcompetitive
and environmental friendly conditions. In order to reach these goals, and to enable a
secure and nearly carbon neutral heat and power generation, recently, the Biofficiency proposal, was
granted under Horizon2020, aiming to:
• Develop next generation, biomass-fired CHP plant, increasing the steam temperatures up to
600°C, at medium to large scale (10 to 200 MWth).
• Increase the efficiency of CHP plants by elevated steam temperatures through solving and
understanding of ash-related problems – slagging, fouling and corrosion.
• Reduce emissions – i.e. CO2, particulates, CO, NOX, and SO2 – by efficiency gain, reduction of
impurities and by intelligent plant design.
• Broaden the feedstocks for pulverized fuel (PF) and fluidized bed (FB) power plants, using
pre-treatment methods with focus on the reduction of harmful, inorganic elements: Cl, S and the
• Prevent power plant damage due to high-temperature Cl-induced corrosion.
• Reduce costs for utilities due to increased efficiency, lowered emissions and fuel consumption,
decreased number of outages and maintenance due to handling of ash-related problems.
• Optimize biomass blending (e.g. wood & sewage sludge) in order to reduce slagging, fouling
and corrosion propensities by the adjustment of ash chemistry, enabling new ash utilisation
• Develop better furnace materials.
• Widen ash utilization and nutrient recirculation, by detailed ash analysis in terms of chemistry
and physical properties.
When preparing the proposal, a state-of-the-art note on the above issues was written, and this paper
contains a brief outline of the previous EU-based activities on these issues, which led to the outline
and formulation of the Biofficiency proposal. A complete review of 20 years of EU-funded research
on fuel characterization, ash and deposit formation, corrosion, ash utilization is out of the scope, since
it would require a substantial number of pages and details, but the paper serves more like a resume of
the activities and, perhaps, a forerunner for a more detailed peer-view paper on this issue.