The consequence of biodiesel consumption and production growth involves a significant surplus of glycerol, which is a source of concern in the energy field. The glycerol poor Low Heating Value and its ineffective combustion, with the possible risk of producing toxic acrolein, reduces the interest to use it as a fuel. The present study reports the energy and exergy analysis of an innovative oxy-combustion plant fed by glycerol. Oxy-combustion allows to reach high temperatures, limiting the pollutants emission linked to the glycerol combustion such as acrolein. The study consists on evaluating the actual performance of the plant, in comparison with other conventional fossil fuel-fed energy systems. Experimental measurements of pressure, temperature and flow rate were acquired to calculate both the system energy and exergy efficiencies of the main components; namely, reactor, quencher and boiler. Results show encouraging performance of the plant (energy efficiency 65%, exergy efficiency 22%), if compared with traditional fossil fuels combustors, which further contributing to the energy output of the biodiesel production chain. Finally, the CO2 generated from the combustion is easily sequestrated, therefore, the results valorise the glycerine as biofuel for energy production.
Presciutti, A., Asdrubali, F., Baldinelli, G., Rotili, A., Malavasi, M., Di Salvia, G. (2018). Energy and exergy analysis of glycerol combustion in an innovative flameless power plant. JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, 172, 3817-3824 [10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.06.022].