Reclamation of ultra-fine coal with scenedesmus microalgae and comprehensive combustion property of the Coalgae® composite
Combustion of South African discard ultra-fine coal (i.e. coal dust), charcoal, microalgae biomass, and composites of the three under air were studied. The study involves to find out the effect of Scenedesmus microalgae biomass on the comprehensive combustion characteristics of the ultra-fines. Coal dust is considered as waste material, but it could be modified and combusted for energy. The composites were designed with Design Expert, and unlike blending with the dry microalgae biomass, fresh slurry was blended with the ultra-fine coal and charcoal. Non-isothermal combustion was carried out at heating rate of 15 C/min from 40 – 900 ºC and at flow rate of 20 ml/min, O2/CO2 air. Combustion properties of composites were deduced from TG-DTGA and analysed using multiple regression. On combustion, the interaction of coal-charcoal-microalgae was antagonistic (b = - 1069.49), while coal-microalgae (b = 39.17), and coal-charcoal (b = 80.37), was synergistic (p = 0.0061). The coal-microalgae (Coalgae®) indicated first order reaction mechanism unlike, coal, and the charcoal. Comprehensive combustion characteristics index of Coalgae®, (S-value = 4.52E8) was superior relative to ultra-fine (S-value = 3.16E8), which indicated high quality fuel. This approach to combusting ultra-fine coal with microalgae biomass is partly renewable, and it would advance the production of heat and electricity.
Key words: coal-dust, combustion, s-value, Coalgae®, renewable.
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