Experiments and modelling of NOx precursors release (NH3 and HCN) in fixed-bed biomass combustion conditions

Andrés Anca-Couce*, Peter Sommersacher, Nikola Evic, Ramin Mehrabian, Robert Scharler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a need to reduce NOx emissions, which can only be achieved through a detailed understanding of the mechanisms for their formation and reduction. In this work the release of the NOx precursors, NH3 and HCN, for different fuels is experimentally analysed and modelled in typical fixed-bed combustion conditions. It is shown that NH3 and HCN are released during the main devolatilization phase and the NH3/HCN ratio increases for fuels with a higher nitrogen content. A simplified two-steps model for their release is presented. The model can predict with a reasonable accuracy the release for fuels with a low nitrogen content, however deviations are present for fuels with a high nitrogen content, which probably arise due to a reduction of NH3 and HCN taking place already in the bed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-537
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018


  • Biomass
  • Combustion
  • Lab-scale reactor
  • Model
  • NO precursor
  • Pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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