SOLID FUELS OTHER THAN COAL AND THEIR COMBUSTIONby@bwco

SOLID FUELS OTHER THAN COAL AND THEIR COMBUSTION

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Wood —Wood is vegetable tissue which has undergone no geological change. Usually the term is used to designate those compact substances familiarly known as tree trunks and limbs. When newly cut, wood contains moisture varying from 30 per cent to 50 per cent. When dried for a period of about a year in the atmosphere, the moisture content will be reduced to 18 or 20 per cent. Wood is usually classified as hard wood, including oak, maple, hickory, birch, walnut and beech; and soft wood, including pine, fir, spruce, elm, chestnut, poplar and willow. Contrary to general opinion, the heat value per pound of soft wood is slightly greater than the same value per pound of hard wood. Table 41 gives the chemical composition and the heat values of the common woods. Ordinarily the heating value of wood is considered equivalent to 0.4 that of bituminous coal. In considering the calorific value of wood as given in this table , it is to be remembered that while this value is based on air-dried wood, the moisture content is still about 20 per cent of the whole, and the heat produced in burning it will be diminished by this amount and by the heat required to evaporate the moisture and superheat it to the temperature of the gases. The heat so absorbed may be calculated by the formula giving the loss due to moisture in the fuel, and the net calorific value determined. In designing furnaces for burning wood, the question resolves itself into: 1st, the essential elements to give maximum capacity and efficiency with this class of fuel; and 2nd, the construction which will entail the least labor in handling and feeding the fuel and removing the refuse after combustion. Wood, as used commercially for steam generating purposes, is usually a waste product from some industrial process. At the present time refuse from lumber and sawmills forms by far the greater part of this class of fuel. In such refuse the moisture may run as high as 60 per cent and the composition of the fuel may vary over wide ranges during different portions of the mill operation. The fuel consists of sawdust, “hogged” wood and slabs, and the percentage of each of these constituents may vary greatly. Hogged wood is mill refuse and logs that have been passed through a “hogging machine” or macerator. This machine, through the action of revolving knives, cuts or shreds the wood into a state in which it may readily be handled as fuel. Table 42 gives the moisture content and heat value of typical sawmill refuse from various woods.

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Babcock & Wilcox is an American energy technology and service provider


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