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What is a Fluidized Bed Combustion Boiler?

Fluidized bed combustion technology offers innovative solutions for burning solid fuels. Fluidized bed combustion (FBC) boilers provide advanced methods of fuel consumption for standard boiler systems. 

FBC boilers have many advantages over conventional firing systems and have emerged as a top choice for many clients in the biomass fuel industry. Are you wondering if a fluidized bed combustion boiler is right for you? 

Keep reading to learn what a fluidized bed combustion boiler is and the benefits of adding this boiler type to your operations. 

How Does an FBC Boiler Work?

FBC boilers burn solid fuel materials to generate energy. Fuel particles are suspended within a chamber often, and particulates like sand are included in the fluidized bed. Jets blow air into the fluidity bed to support the combustion process. 

FBC boilers efficiently mix gas and solids resulting in rapid heat transfer and chemical reactions within the fluidized bed. Fluidized bed combustion boilers have many advantages over traditional firing systems due to their compact design, which increases combustion efficiency and reduces emissions of pollutants.  

Key Features of Fluidized Bed Combustion Boilers

Many FBC boilers have features that include:

  • Fuel feeding system: Coal, limestone, and other raw materials are loaded into the primary entrance point and fed through a fine mesh to begin the fluidization process.
  • Air distributor: This feature evenly distributes gas inside a boiler or furnace. The matter rests on a grate that keeps particles contained within the appropriate chamber.
  • Bed: The raw materials are suspended in a concentrated area, or a “bed.” Depending on the system in question, the bed can sit low on the fuel grate, or it can be positioned inside the combustion chamber.
  • Ash processing system: Extra ash can be a detriment to an FBC system due to excess or large particles. Ash processing removes extra ash through a filtration mechanism located at the bottom of the system.
  • Turbines: Gas and steam turbines work together to send the correct forms of energy to the combustion system. Turbines function well with FBC systems because they don’t produce large amounts of moisture.

Types of FBC Boilers

FBC boiler types vary based on the size of the fuel-burning capacity and the necessary applications:

Bubbling Fluidized Bed (BFB) Combustion:

This type takes materials that are not as conducive for burning and transforms them into digestible materials using sand to aid the combustion process. Strong hardware systems are critical for BFBs due to the materials they process.

Atmospheric Fluidized Bed (AFB) Combustion:

This is a general market choice for FBC boilers. AFB systems burn the smallest width of coal and other raw materials. Air is pressurized according to the required fuel output, and the temperature of air exiting the exhaust openings can be adjusted as needed.

Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) Combustion:

For systems that utilize various fuel sources, a CFBC system can internalize several materials and convert them into high-quality fuel. The capacity to ingest more significant amounts of materials requires a boiler with a larger surface area. 

Pressurized Fluidized Bed (PFB) Combustion:

This system is a large-scale version of its predecessors. PFB systems use turbines to distribute the converted fuel across a greater surface area. Like any major boiler system, the size supports higher production quantities of high-grade fuel. The increased combustion chamber size also allows for fuel particles to cycle through in repeat stages to maximize use.

Application of FBC Boiler Systems

FBC boilers are retrofitted to existing boiler units. There are several components that need to be sourced for a successful installation. Space and design are key components to outfitting an external boiler unit, as well as matching proper steam circulation attachments. A knowledgeable FBC boiler manufacturer can design and install the components to support any future modifications that may be needed. This flexibility optimizes the late stages of fuel conversion.

Benefits of FBC Boilers

FBC boilers convert low-grade biomass fuel materials into high-quality, workable materials that can power boilers and other essential plant systems. Fuel material types include sand, coal, dirt, glass, and other naturally-occurring waste that need to be burned.

There are several benefits of using FBC boiler systems in industrial settings, like decreased boiler size, reduced emissions, and higher output. In addition, the recirculation of select fuel types makes the FBC boiler an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective choice. 

Contact Industrial Boilers America

Industrial Boilers America is an industry leader in industrial boiler manufacturing. Contact our team to learn how our FBC boilers can improve your plant’s emissions and efficiencies. 

Industrial Boilers America

At Industrial Boilers America, we lead in providing the development, licensing, and deployment of Industrial Power plants. We partner with other leaders of communities and governments to foster long-term relationships that create sustainable energy, jobs, and social responsibility. Our philosophy that sustainability should be rooted in the betterment of the ecosystem rather than profit allows us to provide services that will enable our partners to reinvest in themselves, resulting in a sustainable community.

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