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Experimental investigation of the glycerol combustion by oxy-fuel process to emissions decreases and optimizes energy efficiency

Grant number: 12/12879-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 29, 2016
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering
Principal Investigator:Fernando de Souza Costa
Grantee:Ana Maura Araujo Rocha
Home Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Nowadays, many countries aim to decrease their energy dependence on fossil fuels and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, specially CO2, which has motivated the search for alternative energy sources such as the biofuels. A major biofuel is biodiesel which can be produced from different vegetables and is capable to reduce CO2 emissions. However, a significant problem during biodiesel production is the formation of glycerol which cannot be discarded on nature and can become an environmental problem. The production of biodiesel is rapidly increasing and so the world reserves of glycerol. This fact makes essential to find new uses for the glycerol waste. The current work proposes to use glycerol as fuel, aiming to optimize the atomization, mixing and burning processes of glycerol in a combustion chamber, in order to attain good energetic and economic efficiencies. Nevertheless, the combustion of the glycerol poses a number of difficulties because of its low energy density, high viscosity and high auto-ignition temperature and, due to this, the glycerol burning consist in a large technological challenge to be solved. The oxy-fuel combustion process will be adopted to burn the glycerol, since it shows some advantages in comparison with conventional combustion processes, such as reduction of emissions of NOx, UHC, CO and CO2 (if this is sequestered). Despite the large number of publications in recent years on oxy-fuel, there is a small number of studies concerning glycerol burning in the technical literature, making this proposal a pioneer work, which will give subsidies to a better understanding on the physical and chemical phenomena involved in glycerol combustion. The results obtained, eventually, will add value to the biodiesel production and contribute to develop a national technology for glycerol burning.