The Direct Use of Post-Processing Wood Dust in Gas Turbines


Woody biomass is a widely-used and favourable material for energy production due to its carbon neutral status. Energy is generally derived either through direct combustion or gasification. The Irish forestry sector is forecasted to expand significantly in coming years, and so the opportunity exists for the bioenergy sector to take advantage of the material for which there will be no demand from current markets. A by-product of wood processing, wood dust is the cheapest form of wood material available to the bioenergy sector. Currently wood dust is primarily processed into wood pellets for energy generation. Research was conducted on post-processing birch wood dust; the calorific value and the Wobbe Index were determined for a number of wood particle sizes and wood dust concentrations. The Wobbe Index determined for the upper explosive concentration (4000 g/m3) falls within range of that of hydrogen gas, and wood dust-air mixtures of this concentration could therefore behave in a similar manner in a gas turbine. Due to its slightly lower HHV and higher particle density, however, alterations to the gas turbine would be necessary to accommodate wood dust to prevent abrasive damage to the turbine. As an unwanted by-product of wood processing the direct use of wood dust in a gas turbine for energy generation could therefore have economic and environmental benefits.

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A. Doherty, E. Walsh and K. McDonnell, "The Direct Use of Post-Processing Wood Dust in Gas Turbines," Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 60-64. doi: 10.4236/jsbs.2012.23009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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