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17 Co-utilization of Biomass Based Fuels in Pulverized Coal Power Plants in Europe

Part 4. Solid Fuels

  1. Panagiotis Grammelis,
  2. Michalis Agraniotis,
  3. Emmanuel Kakaras

Published Online: 15 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9783527628148.hoc071

Handbook of Combustion

Handbook of Combustion

How to Cite

Grammelis, P., Agraniotis, M. and Kakaras, E. 2010. Co-utilization of Biomass Based Fuels in Pulverized Coal Power Plants in Europe. Handbook of Combustion. 4:17:585–608.

Author Information

  1. Institute for Solid Fuels Technology and Applications (ISFTA), Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH), Halandri, Athens, Greece

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2010


This chapter discusses various issues related to the co-firing of biomass-based secondary fuels in existing coal-fired power plants. The main objective is to present the current situation of co-firing technology in Europe and its future developments, as well as the most applied technological co-firing options in large-scale pulverized fuel boilers. Co-firing can be accomplished either via the direct or indirect approach. The first option is the most common trend in co-firing owing to time saving for installation, fewer modifications, shorter shutdown periods, and lower investment cost. To co-utilize biomass in an existing coal fired power plant some form of retrofitting is needed. Although no two plants are the same, the practical considerations for retrofitting and co-firing can be generalized into four areas of interest: fuel availability, plant modification, legislative framework on environmental issues, and financial evaluation. Technical constraints in a co-firing project include a potential increase in slagging and fouling, pollutant formation, ash deposition, and utilization of solid by-product, whilst the non-technical barriers mainly concern fuel supply and financial issues. A review on co-firing experience at the European level, mainly focusing on the utilization of novel solid biofuels such as solid recovered fuels (SRF) is also presented. In summary, co-firing with limited biomass shares is technically feasible and has been demonstrated in several European countries. Research efforts are now focused on the deployment of co-firing applications in even more power plants and the increase of solid biofuels shares in the mixture. For this reason, solid biofuel qualities have to be standardized for their use in the power sector and new fuel markets should be established.


  • biomass;
  • coal;
  • co-firing;
  • retrofitting;
  • secondary fuels;
  • solid recovered fuels (SRF)