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Effect of Varying Temperature and Oxygen on Particulate Matter Formation in Oxy-Biomass Combustion

Chen Wang1, Cicilia Kemunto Mesa2,*, Samuel Bimenyimana1,3, Nathan Bogonko2, George Adwek4, Yiyi Mo1, Godwin Norense Osarumwense Asemota5,6, Changfu Yuan7, Yaowen Chen7, Changtai Li8, Etienne Ntagwirumugara9, Aphrodis Nduwamungu5
1 Fujian Provincial Higher–Educational Engineering Research Centre of Intelligence and Automation in Construction, College of Civil Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, China
2 Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
3 Hello Renewables, Ltd., Kigali, Rwanda
4 Mount Kenya University, Thika, Kenya
5 African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
6 Morayo College, Nairobi, Kenya
7 Fujian Baichuan Construction Technology Co., Ltd., Xiamen, China
8 Haoqi (Xiamen) Construction Technology Co., Ltd., Xiamen, China
9 University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology, Kigali, Rwanda
* Corresponding Author: Cicilia Kemunto Mesa. Email:
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Advanced Materials and Technologies for Sustainable Energy)

Energy Engineering 2022, 119(3), 863-881.

Received 11 September 2021; Accepted 12 January 2022; Issue published 31 March 2022


Offsetting particulate matter emissions has become a critical global aim as there are concerted efforts to deal with environmental and energy poverty challenges. This study consists of investigations of computing emissions of particulate matter from biomass fuels in various atmospheres and temperatures. The laboratory setup included a fixed bed electric reactor and a particulate matter (PM) measuring machine interfaced with the flue gas from the fixed bed reactor combustion chamber. The experiments were conducted at seven different temperatures (600°C–1200°C) and six incremental oxygen concentrations (21%–100%). Five biomass types were studied; A-cornstalk, B-wood, C-wheat straw, D-Rice husk, E-Peanut shell, each pulverized to a size of approximately 75 microns. The study shows that PM emitted during char combustion is consistently higher than that emitted during the de-volatilization. During de-volatilization, increase in temperature leads to linear decrease in PM emission between atmospheres of 21%O2 to 50%O2, thereafter, between 70%O2 to 100%O2; increase in temperature leads to a rise in PM emission. The average PM formation from all the five considered biomass is relatively comparable however, with differing atmospheres and temperatures, the fibrous and low-density biomass forms more PM. During char combustion, the study shows that at oxygen levels of 21%, 70%, 90% and 100%, increase in temperature leads to increased PM emission. The increase in oxygen concentration and temperature increases the rate of combustion hence diminishing the time of combustion.

Graphical Abstract

Effect of Varying Temperature and Oxygen on Particulate Matter Formation in Oxy-Biomass Combustion


Oxy-fuel combustion; particulate matter (PM); volatiles; char combustion

Cite This Article

Wang, C., Mesa, C. K., Bimenyimana, S., Bogonko, N., Adwek, G. et al. (2022). Effect of Varying Temperature and Oxygen on Particulate Matter Formation in Oxy-Biomass Combustion. Energy Engineering, 119(3), 863–881.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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