Characteristics of pine needle combustion in a semi-gasifier burner
Author(s)Fang, Liane Jessica; Hane-Weijman, Caroline M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Wai K. Cheng.
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The motivation behind this report was to develop a stronger understanding of pine needle combustion behavior in a semi-gasifier, in order to ultimately design an effective pine needle cook stove for people in the developing world. Pine needles are a cheap, energy-dense fuel source that can be harnessed for cooking purposes, but they are often physically or chemically altered prior to being used as a fuel. The challenge remains to develop a stove that uses unprocessed pine needles. Using principles of a semi-gasification biomass stove, this paper explores the combustion and burn characteristics of unprocessed pine needles by measuring the effects of temperature in a configured burner when altering primary and secondary airflow into the burner. Experiments showed that pine needles in a semi-gasifier combust in two regimes--one characterized by secondary combustion of volatiles released from the primary burn of raw pine needles, and another characterized by the smoldering of pine needle charcoal. Each regime needed unique balances between primary air and secondary airflow. The first regime required a relatively low primary airflow with a high secondary airflow, while the second regime needed a high primary airflow to maintain charring and low or no secondary airflow. The balance of airflow in the first regime was crucial in determining whether the volatiles combusted or were released as plumes of smoke. The findings of this report can be used as an initial benchmark and resource in the further development of an existing proof-of-concept prototype, which was built by the authors with a team of MIT students and affiliates and a community partner in Uttarakhand, India.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, June 2011."June 2011." Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 29).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology