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Fluidized Bed Boiler

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Fluidized Bed Boiler

The Fluidized Bed Combustion (FBC)


The idea of burning coal instead of gasifying coal in a fluidized bed was introduced by Douglas Elliott in the early 1960s. 

Fluidized Bed Boiler

(Image: Internet)

Fluidized bed boiler were also developed in parallel in China and the US, but due to a lack of documentation, development in these two countries is not considered reliable.

Steam generation from biomass-fired fluidized bed boilers (biomass) can be considered to have started in 1982 when a 10-ton/hour rice husk-fired 10-ton/hour boiler was put into operation in India, designed by Prabir Basu. Since then, many different types of fluidized bed furnaces, burning different fuels, have been developed and commercialized worldwide.

Fluidized bed boilers (BFB) are perhaps the most common application of fluidized bed combustion chambers, they have replaced nearly all traditional boilers such as chain and stationary burners.


What is Fluidized bed boiler ? 

A fluidized bed boiler is a boiler that uses a fluidized bed-type combustion chamber (made up of millions of grains of sand, slag, or some kind of special material) to burn fuel. The fluidized bed combustion chamber creates very good mixing conditions over the entire area of the combustion chamber, so the fuel will burn out while the combustion chamber temperature is not too high, reducing emissions of harmful gases.

The flue gas produced during fluidized bed combustion contains significantly smaller percentages of sulfur and nitrogen oxides than conventional combustion chamber models.

This boiler can be designed to burn many different types of fuel such as coal, biomass fuel, industrial waste, classified domestic waste, etc. Therefore, a fluidized bed boiler is an efficient type of furnace. the most efficient in terms of both economic and environmental protection, i.e. high efficiency but low emission.


AFBC: Atmospheric Fluidized Bed Combustion

BFB: Bubbling Fluidized Bed

CFBC: Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion

PFBC: Pressurize Fluidized Bed Boiler


AFBC Boiler: the most common type of fluidized bed boiler. It is also known as foam fluidized bed boiler (BFB). 

CFBC Boiler: this is a high-boiling fluid variant of the fluidized bed furnace with smoke velocity in the combustion chamber up to 4-6 m/s, solid particles in the smoke (including a substrate and fuel) will be retained by the split Cyclone (hot or cold type) and recirculated back to the combustion chamber. This type of fluidized bed furnace has a very high fuel efficiency, but the initial investment cost is also correspondingly high. Therefore, CFBC furnaces are usually designed for a capacity range of 100 tons/hour or more.

PFBC Boiler: this is a special variant of the fluidized bed furnace where the entire furnace is placed in a high-pressure area (about 16kg/cm2). The hot gas generated after passing through the heat exchangers is used to run the gas turbine. Steam generated from heat exchangers is used to run steam turbines. In general, PFBC boilers have higher system efficiency than the other two types, but the investment cost is also very high and the complex system structure is a major obstacle. The design capacity range of PFBC is 70 – 350 MW.

FBC systems fit into essentially:

+ two major groups: Atmospheric systems (FBC) and pressurized systems (PFBC)

+ two minor subgroups: Bubbling (BFB) and Circulating fluidized bed (CFB)

FBC is particularly applicable to sugar, paper, food, and feed mill industries

A typical fluidized bed boiler structure includes 5 subsystems:

1. Feeding system

2. Combustion chamber

3. Wind and smoke system

4. Slag discharge and exhaust gas treatment system;

5. Gas-fired steam generator

Pros – Disadvantages of Boiler

1. Advantages of fluidized bed boiler:

– Foam fluidized bed furnaces can be designed to burn any type of fuel, including coal with an ash content of 60 – 70% or with a volatile matter ratio of less than 1%. 

– The moving parts in fluidized bed boilers are much less than in boilers using the old principle such as chain grate. 

Fluidized bed furnaces can meet stringent emissions standards without the need for expensive treatment equipment. 

– Diverse fuel used: coal bran, loose rice husk, rice husk pellets, firewood pellets, chopped firewood, paper industry waste, biomass…

2. Disadvantages of fluidized bed boiler:

– For coal-fired fluidized bed furnaces with a high coke ratio, a tube beam immersed in the fluidized bed is required to keep the combustion chamber from overheating, however, the service life of this tube beam is often low due to wear resistance. continuous. 

– The foam fluidized bed furnace requires a very large combustion chamber area if compared to the same capacity as the circulating fluidized bed furnace or the blast furnace. Therefore, foam fluidized bed furnaces cannot completely replace blast furnaces, especially for large capacity ranges. 

– The foam fluidized bed requires a lot of feed points because the fuel dispersion in the combustion chamber is not as good as that of the circulating fluidized bed. Therefore, foam fluidized bed furnaces are only designed for small and medium power ranges. 

– Although the foam fluidized bed furnace can burn many types of fuel, it is still required to revise the furnace design if the designed fuel type is changed to another fuel, whether better or worse than the fuel type. old material. 

– The minimum load of the foam fluidized bed furnace is limited, normally only running the minimum load of 30-40% of the design capacity.


+ Calculation & Design  : according to ASME and TCVN

+ Fabrication                 : according to ASME and TCVN

+ Evaporation capacity : (10,000-300,000) kg/h

+ Design Pressure        : (10-150) bar(g)

+ Fuel                           : Indonesia coal & Biomass

+ Boiler efficiency        : 87%



The FBC system is built in a closed fuel feeding system consisting of:

– Fuel receiving hopper, Fuel lifting bucket elevator; Fuel Storage Silo

– From the Silo, the fuel will be transferred to the buffer silo by another conveyor system before feeding into the furnace.

After heating, the flue gas will keep going to the Economizer unit to recover the waste heat and change to the useful heat for the boiler.

At this time, the energy in the flue gas has nothing much to recover. it will be treated by a drying collector (what we call a bag filter) before going to the chimney and eventually into the atmosphere.

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