Improving Multi-Fuel Boiler Performance - Emerson Automation Experts

Improving Multi-Fuel Boiler Performance

As process manufacturers grapple with high fuel costs to create the steam for their processes, they often look to increase the use of biomass and alternate fuels in their boilers.
vThe key measurement is typically the cost per pound of steam. This can be reduced by maximizing the use of cheaper fuels like wood, stoker coal, and other forms of biomass while minimizing the use of natural gas and oil.

I spoke with Chip Rennie in Emerson’s Industrial Energy Solutions organization on the control challenges of operating boilers when running non-fossil fuels. These fuels can vary in moisture, consistency of particle size, BTU content, combustion air requirements, and boiler emissions performance limits.

From Chip and the consulting team, well operating multi-fuel boilers can often generate 90% of the plant’s steam, operate in automatic control over 95% of the time, minimize carbon in ash, and maintain emissions to specified levels.

Chip stresses the key to optimizing the operation of these boilers begins with an assessment of the mechanical components and instruments. Optimum business results cannot be achieved if these underlying components greatly limit performance. Examples of issues to be resolved include include fuel conveyor changes, fuel bins and distribution equipment, overfire or undergrate air system modifications, fan upgrades, or damper improvements.

Chip and his team have bundled their expertise on multi-fuel boilers into a SmartProcess application and call it SmartProcess Boiler. This application provides complete automatic control of the boiler at all times including start-up, automatically adjusts for changing fuel BTU per volume, and the system allows a multi-fuel boiler to be used as a swing boiler while burning least cost fuels.

The application automates many functions that are often done manually and allows a higher percentage of steam to be generated with biomass or alternate fuels.

Projects are typically done as a turnkey including design, installation, commissioning, start-up and training of the operations staff to run the boiler using the newly optimized equipment, firing methods, and control tools. Given the high costs of fossil fuels today, payback on the entire project is typically 3 to 6 months.

Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2006 under Industrial Energy & Onsite Utilities, Pulp & Paper.


  1. Chemical Recovery Boiler Performance Efficiency

    We discussed improvement of multi-fuel boilers in an earlier post. Similarly, pulp and paper manufacturers often wrestle with chemical recovery boilers because of the complexity of the combustion process. This complexity is largely driven by the variab…

  2. AJAY SHUKLA says:

    Please mail me application

  3. Mohammed says:

    Dear Sir,
    I wish to make an enquiry for distiller for ethanol,the process will be to be used to process
    cellulose ethanol, from bio-mass on other hand it is very important you advice me the possibilty if you do sell plant for destiller and we need every detail concerning the impact on environment water and electricity compsumptios and more details such how many employees can run the plant our capacity is to produce upto 400,000mt of ethanol per day.
    our bio-mass is cellulose, we fermenting then heat the materials into a distiller to produce ethanol.I need detail and informations on the plant,if you can fedex me at the address below
    Oman green fuel Company
    att:Mohammed Al-harthi
    Tel 00968-946461
    Sultanate of Oman
    Arabian Gulf
    Quote us :CIF port Of Sohar

  4. D.P.ROY says:

    Please advise me how can i burn concentrated distillery waste( from mollases/rice grain)with 50% moisture in the boiler to produce steam at higher pressure to produce power thru turbine.
    We can work out for techonology transfer

  5. Bob Sabin says:

    Mr. Roy, it should be possible to utilize distillery waste as a waste fuel. A few questions for you. Do the boiler and turbine currently exist? If so, please describe the type of boiler, manufacturer, fuels presently used, maximum steaming rate, pressure, temperature, and grate type (if there is one). Please describe the turbine also. If there is no boiler/turbine currently, what process steam needs do you have and what fuels other than the distillery waste are currently used?

  6. Muhammad, I sent a note to our local experts in our Middle East region asking that they contact you for specifics on your application.
    Take it easy, Jim

  7. Sankar Sana says:

    Dear Sir,
    Pls infrom me, how to produce a high thermal efficient cook stove where body durability must be become more than 3 to 4 years after every heat treatment

  8. I am using a 300 gallon emersion tube boiler i but but think i need more steam. I need a flow rate of 6 GPM to produce 75 gph of ethanol. I do not know anything a high tech boilers other than the one i built. It took me 3 months to design and build this one.I do not know how to determine what my steam rate is.



  10. Mir AJAZ Javed says:

    Dear Sir,
    We need assistance to reduce Gas consumption of a 20 tons / hr steam boiler working at 9 bar.
    Please let us know what should be the Exhasut Gases temperature after the Boiler?
    What would be the best exhaust analysis.
    With best regards,
    Mir AJAZ Javed

  11. Shivanand Shetty says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am the director – projects of company called Energy Management Engineers (India) Pvt Ltd, based in Bangalore – India.
    We take up turnkey projects in Process industries like Food processing, Textiles, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals etc. limiting ourselves in Steam generation and distribution to various user points.
    Is there anything for us, where you can help us to offer our clients a better and more efficient system. If so, kindly get in touch with me.
    Shivanand Shetty
    General Manager – Projects
    Energy Management Engineers (India) Pvt Ltd

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