While biomass combined heat and power plants in Central and Eastern Europe mainly burn wood and waste wood, in Southern Europe, Asia and South America it is common to use straw, coconut shells, rice husks, sunflower seed husks and olive stones as raw materials for generating energy and heat.

The ashes from these fuels have different properties. The melting point may be substantially lower than that of wood ash, or the dust resistance may be considerably higher. The danger here is that this may lead to partial melting in the separation plants. Dust resistance must also be known in advance, as it is an important influencing variable on electrostatic precipitator design.

In order to learn more about the properties of ash from these biogenic fuels, Scheuch sponsored a thesis on the subject.

Michael Adlmannseder, an undergraduate student studying Bio and Environmental Technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Austria, spent his student placement at Scheuch where, for his final year thesis project ‘Determining the Dust Resistance of Biomass Ashes and the Correlation to Their Constituent Materials’, he carried out a chemical analysis and evaluation of ash samples from a range of exotic fuels.

The results form the basis for future improvements in the dimensioning accuracy and technical safety of flue gas cleaning systems for combined heat and power plants where such exotic fuels are used.