B.4 Determination of the impact of biomass burning
Particle emissions from residential combustion in traditional appliances (fireplace and woodstove) of prevalent wood species in Southern European countries have been determined by the University of Aveiro (UAVR): Pinus pinaster (Maritime pine), Eucalyptus globulus (eucalypt), Quercus suber (cork oak), Acacia longifolia (Golden wattle), Quercus faginea (Portuguese oak), Olea europea (olive), Quercus ilex rotundifolia (Holm oak), Fagus sylvatica (European beech), Quercus pyrenaica (Pyrenean oak), and Populus nigra (black poplar). The emissions from the combustion in the traditional appliances of four of these wood species (pine, eucalypt, cork oak and golden wattle) have been compared with those from a modern eco-labelled woodstove.
Traditional appliances (fireplace and woodstove) and components of the biomass facility at UAVR where emissions from different biofuels have been studied.
The emissions from a pellet stove with increasingly market share have also been measured. In addition to different types of pellets, other alternative biofuels (e.g. olive pit and almond shell) that are becoming common in Southern Europe, particularly in Spain, were also burned in this combustion appliance. Though not originally intended, taking into account the proliferation of residual forest biomass power plants, especially in Portugal, and their likely impact on atmospheric particulate matter levels, the emissions from the combustion of wood chips in a Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR) under different stoichiometric conditions were also studied.
The biomass combustion facility at UAVR has also been employed to test some abatement measures, such as different operating conditions and the use of catalytic filters. The results of these combustion tests will enable to quantify how much emission estimates will change as a result of the adoption of each one of the abatement strategies, and consequently, how much the ambient PM2.5 or PM10 levels will be reduced.
Emission factors for biomass burning
Identification of biomass burning tracers
The Milestone “Identification of biomass burning tracers” was complete on time. The chemical analysis of the numerous particulate matter samples from the combustion experiments already carried out at UAVR have shown, in accordance with literature, that levoglucosan is an unequivocal biomass burning tracer. Their stereoisomers, galactosan and mannosan, are also abundant compounds in smoke. Although the three anhydrosugars are always emitted by biomass burning sources, the proportions between them depend on what biofuel is being burnt. Thus, the simultaneous determination of the three stereoisomers is recommended in order to apportion the contribution from different biomass burning emissions (e.g. softwood versus hardwood).
Open Week of Science and Technology
Within the “Open Week of Science and Technology”, in 26 November 2014, the University of Aveiro, received in its biomass burning facility, 15 students from the 12th grade attending a technical-professional course on renewable energy. In the frame of Action D4 (Dissemination of project results) of AIRUSE, Prof. Luís Tarelho exposed the project objectives and how the laboratorial installation is operated. Aspects related to exploitation of forestry residues with energy recovery potential, their main characteristics, energy production processes in which biomass can be used, and associated environmental impacts, were addressed.
Short courses – biomass combustion and sampling of emission from this source
In the frame of the project AIRUSE, the University of Aveiro ministered two complementary short courses on biomass combustion and sampling of emission from this source. These topics are related to Action B.4. (Determination of the impact of biomass burning) of AIRUSE, in which the Portuguese institution plays a leading role. These short courses, of practical character, addressed the following aspects: modelling of biomass combustion processes, mass and energy balances, combustion technologies, domestic applications, emission control technologies, sampling probes, calibration of gas analysers, particulate matter samplers and other instruments, isokinetic sampling, sample conditioning, and calculation of emission factors.
Meeting with national authorities
On the 6th of February 2014, members of UAVR, Casimiro Pio, Márcio Duarte and Nuno Costa, met with responsable of national authorities (CCDR-N), António Vicente Araújo, at the air quality monitoring station of Antas (Oporto). An evaluation of the all campaign was done and The equipment belonging to UAVR was removed from the station.