oa Journal of Energy in Southern Africa - Influences of microalgae biomass on the thermal behaviour of waste coal fines

Volume 30 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1021-447X
  • E-ISSN: 2413-3051



For this study, waste coal fines were treated with live microalgae slurry at varying biomass ratios to form coal-microalgae blends. The parent samples and the coal-microalgae blends were analysed for their proximate, ultimate and calorific values. Thermogravimetric experiments were performed on the parent samples and coal-microalgae blends under inert conditions. The aim was to investigate the effects of loading live microalgae slurry onto the waste coals with respect to the overall chemical and thermal characteristics of the coal. Based on the analysed results, the blending of microalgae slurry with coal has been shown to enhance thermal decomposition of coal. Coal-microalgae blends have a higher hydrogen content and volatile matter content than coal. Moreover, the presence of microalgae results in faster rates of decomposition at lower temperatures (200–400 ºC), and lower residual mass fraction. The blending of microalgae slurries with waste coal appears to be suitable for enhancing the thermal reactivity of waste coal as well as improving the thermal conversion of waste coal.

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