Comparison of entrained metal aerosol emissions from the combustion of different biomass fuels


Supervisors: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Karen N Finney.

Impurities in fuels have detrimental impacts on combustion/downstream systems, including CCS and heat recovery. Biomass with CCS can be a net negative emissions source, so is gaining interest, but as a result, there is more variation in the fuels being used, from conventional wood pellets to wastes, which have more impurities.

This project will compare metal aerosol emissions from the combustion of such fuels throughout the combustion/capture plants, assessing the differences in the levels and species, monitored via ICP-OES at the UKCCSRC PACT Core Facilities. Quantitative data on the simultaneous multi-elemental detection for volatile/non-volatile species (major to ultra-trace elements) will focus on alkali (K, Na), transition (Fe, V, Zn) and heavy (Cd, Hg, Cr) metals, as well as acidic elements (S), as these are toxic, easily vaporised and cause operational issues.

Combined with data for ash residue analysis (composition), mass balances will enable the determination of element partition/the fate of specific species, thus aiding in the development of better gas cleaning methods tailored for individual fuels and operation conditions.

For further information contact Professor Derek B Ingham (

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