The thermal exploitation of wastewood with Greek lignite was investigated by performing tests in a laboratory-scale fluidized bed reactor, a 1-MWth semi-industrial circulating fluidized bed combustor, and an industrial boiler. Blends of natural wood, demolition wood, railroad sleepers, medium-density fiberboard residues, and power poles with lignite were used, and the co-combustion efficiency and the effect of wastewood addition on the emitted pollutants were investigated. Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen emissions were continuously monitored, and, during the industrial-scale tests, the toxic emissions (polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans and heavy metals) were determined. Ash samples were analyzed for heavy metals in an inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy spectro-photometer.

Problems were observed during the preparation of wastewood, because species embedded with different compounds, such as railway sleepers and demolition wood, were not easily treated. All wastewood blends were proven good fuels; co-combustion proceeded smoothly and homogeneous temperature and pressure profiles were obtained. Although some fluctuations were observed, low emissions of gaseous pollutants were obtained for all fuel blends. The metal element emissions (in the flue gases and the solid residues) were lower than the legislative limits. Therefore, wastewood co-combustion with lignite can be realized, provided that the fuel handling and preparation can be practically performed in large-scale installations.

Keywords : trace elements, PCDD/F formation, coal combustion, flue-gas, co-combustion, emissions, boiler, inhibitors, dioxins