A bed material made from metal oxides improves the combustion efficiency of waste and biomass while decreasing operating and maintenance costs. In collaboration with energy supplier Eon, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have discovered a way to use metal oxides’ oxygen-carrying properties in circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers. The team from Chalmers and Eon conducted long-term testing of the bed material in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, Händelöverket in Norrköping.

Silica sand normally used in plant boilers to even out heat fluctuations and make the combustion of the fuel more efficient was replaced with the ilmenite-based bed material. The iron-titanium mineral ilmenite and other metal oxides can transport oxygen inside the combustion chamber from places where there is an abundance of oxygen to places where oxygen is depleted. Testing showed that the metal oxides-base material provided a clear advantage compared to regular sand.

The university produced a video on the research. View it here.