The demand for a net reduction of carbon dioxide and restrictions on energy efficiency make thermal conversion of biomass a very attractive alternative for energy production. However, sulphur dioxide emissions are of major environmental concern and may lead to an increased corrosion rate of boilers in the absence of sulfatation reactions. Therefore, the objective of the present study is to evaluate the kinetics of formation of sulphur dioxide during switchgrass combustion. Experimental data that records the combustion process and the emission formation versus time, carried out by the National Renewable Energy Institute in Colorado (US), was used to evaluate the kinetic data. The combustion of switchgrass is described sufficiently accurate by the Discrete Particle Method (DPM). It predicts all major processes such as heating-up, pyrolysis, combustion of switchgrass by solving the differential conservation equations for mass and energy. The formation reactions of sulphur dioxide are approximated by an Arrhenius-like expression including a pre-exponential factor and an activation energy. Thus, the results predicted by the Discrete Particle Method were compared to measurements and the kinetic parameters were subsequently corrected by the least square method until the deviation between measurements and predictions was minimised. The determined kinetic data yielded good agreement between experimental data and predictions.
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