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Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Boilers

Typical fuels: Bark, Hog, Whole Tree Chips, Construction Waste, Sludge, Stoker Coal, Plastic Rejects, Solid Waste

 Grate Fired

Challenge: RDF is shredded municipal waste that has been prepared by removing bulk metal, glass, and other recyclable items.  This is typically burned in a combination of grate and suspension firing.  An RDF boiler can be a low cost steam producer, though fuel material handling difficulties, fuel variability, and emissions challenges make operations difficult.  Plugging and binding in the fuel handling equipment is common due to the nature of the material being moved.  This combined with the inherent inconsistency of RDF results in the combustion process seeing significant variations in available Btu over time.  Slagging, melted metal accumulation on the grate, corrosion, and emissions are also operating concerns.

Solution: Higher and more consistent steam production can be achieved from an RDF unit while avoiding grate issues, slagging, and other problems.  To achieve this, boiler air and fuel distribution systems must be set up properly and control technology must be implemented to manage fuel “skips” (temporary plugging of one or more fuel feeders) as well as the normal fluctuations in available fuel Btu per volume.  Emerson helps RDF Boiler owners achieve increased and more stable steam production by mitigating process issues, ensuring that proper measurement and actuation devices are in place, and implementing a Btu based control strategy that responds in real time to changing fuel conditions.  Emerson’s SmartProcess® Boiler solution automatically adjusts the combustion process in real-time to respond to fuel changes while maintaining operation within process and environmental constraints.

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