Combustion of corn stover bales in a small 146-kW boiler


Morissette, R., Savoie, P., Villeneuve, J. (2011). Combustion of corn stover bales in a small 146-kW boiler. Energies, [online] 4(7), 1102-1111.


Spring harvested corn stover was used for direct combustion in a 146 kW dual chamber boiler designed for wood logs. Stover had a very low moisture content (6.83 ± 0.17%), a gross calorific value (GCV) of 18.57 MJ/kg of dry matter (±0.32 MJ/kg DM) and an ash content of 5.88% (±1.15%). Small stover bales (8.83 ± 0.90 kg) were placed manually in the upper combustion chamber at a rate of 10.5 to 12.8 kg/h over a 24-h period, with three replications, and compared to a control wood combustion trial (12.1 kg/h during 24 h). The overall heat transfer efficiency for stover was lower than for wood (57% vs. 77%). Stover bales produced on average 7.5% ash which included about 2% of unburned residues while wood produced 1.7% ash. CO gas emissions averaged 1324 mg/m3 for stover (118 mg/m3 for wood). The corn stover showed a good calorific potential, but it would have to be densified and the boiler should be modified to improve airflow, completeness of combustion and handling of the large amount of ash formed. © 2011 by the authors.

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