Estimation of the effect of biomass moisture content on the direct combustion of sugarcane bagasse in boilers

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Bahadori, A, Zahedi, Gholamreza, Z, Zendehboudi, S & Jamili, A 2014, 'Estimation of the effect of biomass moisture content on the direct combustion of sugarcane bagasse in boilers', International Journal of Sustainable Energy, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 349-356.

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Many of the large-scale biomass combustion systems for producing heat, hot water, or steam accept biomass fuels containing relatively large amounts of moisture. Dry biomass burns at higher temperatures and thermal efficiencies than wet biomass. Flame temperature is directly related to the amount of heat necessary to evaporate the moisture contained in the biomass, the lower the moisture content, the lower the amount of energy needed to remove the water and the higher the boiler efficiency. In this article, a simple predictive tool is developed to estimate boiler efficiency as a function of stack gas temperature and sugarcane bagasse moisture content. The method quantitatively illustrates the effect of moisture content on the performance of a thermochemical process, for the direct combustion of sugarcane bagasse in a conventional boiler. The results are found to be in excellent agreement with reported data in the literature with average absolute deviation being around 1%. The tool developed in this study can be of immense practical value for engineers to have a quick check on biomass moisture content on the boiler performance at various conditions without opting for any experimental trials. In particular, engineers would find the approach to be user-friendly with transparent calculations involving no complex expressions.