Study on Emission Control for Precursors Causing Acid Rain (VI) : Suitability of Aquatic Plant Biomass as a Co-combustion Material with Coal

  • Hauazawa, Atsushi (Department of Environmental Science & Technology, Graduate School of Science & Engineering, Saitama University) ;
  • Gao, Shidong (Stable Isotope Research Lab, Atmospheric Science & Technology Directorate, Science & Technology Branch, Environment Canada) ;
  • Sakamoto, Kazuhiko (Department of Environmental Science & Technology, Graduate School of Science & Engineering, Saitama University)
  • Published : 2008.12.31


In China, energy and environmental problems are becoming serious owing to rapid economic development. Coal is the most problematic energy source because it causes indoor and outdoor air pollution, acid rain, and global warming. One type of clean coal technology that has been developed is the coal-biomass briquette (or bio-briquette, BB) technique. BBs, which are produced from pulverized coal, biomass (typically, agricultural waste), and a sulfur fixation agent (slaked lime, $Ca(OH)_2$) under high pressure without any binder, have a high sulfur-fixation effect. In addition, BB combustion ash, that is, the waste material, can be used as a neutralization agent for acidic soil because of its high alkalinity, which originates from the added slaked lime. In this study, we evaluated the suitability of alternative biomass sources, namely, aquatic plants, as a BB constituent from the perspective of their use as a source of energy. We selected three types of aquatic plants for use in BB preparation and compared the fuel, handling, and environmental characteristics of the new BBs with those of conventional BBs. Our results showed that air-dried aquatic plants had a higher calorific value, which was in proportion to their carbon content, than agricultural waste biomass; the compressive strength of the new BBs, which depends on the lignin content of the biomass, was high enough to bear long-range intracontinental transport in China; and the new BBs had the same emission control capacity as the conventional BBs.