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Inorganic residues of Eco-Fuel, a powdered refuse-derived fuel (RDF), ashed in the laboratory at various temperatures, and the slag and fouling resulting from co-firing this fuel with residual oil in a utility boiler were characterized by atomic absorption and X-ray powder diffractometry in order to observe the chemical and crystalline phase development of the RDF residues. The boiler equipment used in co-firing the RDF and the conditions of operation are related to the chemistry of the residues. The formation of sulfates in fly ash/fouling deposits indicated that there was absorption of sulfur from the RDF and oil. The fates of silicates, clays, quartz, and carbonates are noted in the slag and fouling samples and compared with those in laboratory ashing samples. Processing, which can remove glass from the RDF, would be expected to affect the nature of boiler slag and fouling. Thermal and chemical processing of RDF can alter the crystalline structure of the cellulose, as evidenced by X-ray analysis of several Eco-Fuel samples, thereby embrittling the cellulosic fibers and producing a relatively nonfibrous RDF. X-ray analysis of this sort is valuable because it reveals the phase development and chemical fate of elements, which is not indicated by atomic absorption analysis, and also helps the investigator to anticipate and understand the fouling characteristics of alternative fuels derived from municipal refuse and crop wastes.
alternative fuels, ash, ash residue, refuse-derived fuel (RDF), combustion, co-firing, X-ray diffractometry, atomic absorption, slag, fouling, crystalline structure, embrittlement, Eco-Fuel
Consulting engineer, Forest Hills Gardens, New York, N.Y.
Research chemist, Center for Materials Science, National Measurement Laboratory, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.