B&W Volund
Waste-to-Energy Technologies

Technologies from Crane to Stack

Mass-Burn or Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF)

B&W provides two options when using waste as a combustion fuel. Mass burning municipal solid waste (MSW) uses the refuse in its as-received, unprepared state. The second technique uses prepared refuse, or refuse-derived fuel (RDF), where the as-received refuse is first separated, classified and reclaimed in various ways to yield salable or otherwise recyclable products. The remaining material is prepared for firing in the boiler.

  • More than 500 installations utilizing B&W technology in more than 30 countries
  • Flexible designs to accommodate various capacities, fuel compositions and steam requirements
  • Experience as both a supplier to and operator of WtE facilities
  • Environmental equipment solutions for a wide range of emissions

Boiler Designs

Mass burning is the most common refuse combustion technology worldwide. Three major designs are used in modern mass burn power plants: 1) single-pass furnace, 2) multi-pass furnace with vertical convection pass, and 3) multi-pass furnace with a horizontal convection pass.

B&W has proven experience with designing and building all three variations, with the choice of design determined by the application. All three designs feature a furnace that is strategically arranged over the grate to control gas flow and maximize heat absorption, and thus, maximize efficiency. B&W designs the flue gas flow path to provide reasonably uniform cross-section flow and temperature distributions by using physical and/or numerical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, and empirical data. A short summary of each follows:

Single pass furnace

B&W’s single-pass furnace is a top-supported design that features a single vertical shaft for the rising combustion gases from the grate, with enough residence time and temperature to burn the fuel completely and cool the flue gas to the required furnace exit gas temperature before entering the superheater. The flue gas then turns 90 degrees around a furnace arch to pass through the horizontal crossflow top-supported superheater before turning downward to flow through the longflow steam generating bank. The flue gas then passes vertically over the crossflow economizer and exits the boiler enclosure.




Multiple pass furnace with vertical convection pass

B&W’s multipass furnace with vertical convection pass locates the steam generating bank and superheater in the vertical third pass, and the economizer in the fourth pass. In this design, furnace gases pass upwards through the radiative section then makes a 180-degree turn and flows downward through a second vertical radiation pass. The gas then makes another 180-degree turn and flows up through the third pass where the superheater and generating bank are located. Finally, the flue gas is directed downward through the fourth pass which contains the crossflow economizer. While this design minimizes the larger footprint of the three-pass furnace, accessing the superheater in the vertical gas path for maintenance is more difficult.


2_WTE Boiler_Multipass_Vertical_LR


Multiple pass furnace with horizontal convection pass

The combustion gases of B&W’s multipass furnace with horizontal convection pass leave the grate and lower furnace and pass upward through the first open furnace pass and then downward through the second open pass. A portion of the first pass may be covered with specialized materials to reduce heat absorption and permit the flue gas to maintain a suitable temperature for complete combustion of the fuel in smaller boilers, and at lower loads in larger units. At the bottom of the second open pass, the flue gas turns 180 degrees to pass upward through the third pass to cool the flue gas to the required gas temperature before entering the horizontal convection pass with either a horizontal economizer or vertical economizer.


Boiler_Multipass_Horiz_LR                    4_WTE Boiler_Multipass_Horiz_Vert Econ_LR

Combustion Grates

B&W combustion grates provide waste flow that ensures drying, ignition, combustion, energy release and complete burn-out before the bottom ash outlet.

In a waste-to-energy plant, the grate is where waste is converted into energy – the heart of the system. As such, grates are a significant focus area for us. Over the past 80 years we have supplied more than 500 combustion grates worldwide. Many of our older grates are still in operation, running efficiently and living up to current environmental standards.

B&W offers two combustion grates: the DynaGrate® and the Vølund combustion grates. Each grate is available in both water-cooled and air-cooled designs. The DynaGrate and the Vølund grates were developed to provide reliable transport of waste through the furnace.

Waste Fuel Feeder Systems

Efficient, Stable Operation.  Lower O&M Costs.

Steady and continuous feeding of fuel in waste-to-energy plants is the key to stable operation, maximum efficiency, and lower operational and maintenance costs.

No pre-treatment required

In our waste-to-energy plants, there is no need to pre-treat the waste. Besides saving time, eliminating pre-treatment lowers both your operation and maintenance costs.

Steady energy production

Feeding of waste onto the grate needs to be continuous and adapted to the grate’s transport capacity. Our technology ensures an even fuel layer across the grate so that steady energy output and maximum efficiency are achieved.

Continuous waste transport with no clogging

We design our feed hoppers to provide continuous waste transport to the water-cooled chute with no clogging, which means your plant operates with fewer shutdowns.

Hydraulic dampers keep the facility safe during start up and close down

During plant start up and shut down, two powerful, hydraulically operated dampers are at work. Positioned between chute and hopper, they close automatically in the event of a power failure and can be closed manually in the event of a fire in the chute.

However, the chute is fire-resistant because of its cooling system. The water-cooled feed chute is made of strong, steel plates, and the smooth sides have a negative inclination to allow free waste transport through the chute to the feed platform.

Changeable wear plates = lower maintenance costs

The grate is fed at a variable rate adapted to the energy production by means of a hydraulically operated pusher. Changeable wear plates cover the front and top of the feed pusher. The sides of the water-cooled feed chute are covered by changeable cast-iron plates that reach the top of the feed pusher, providing a lower maintenance cost.

Feed flexibility ensures optimal efficiency and minimum wear

The continuous, slow movement of the feed pusher can change according to energy production and the combustion control, which provides a steady, continuous waste feed onto the grate. This provides maximum efficiency and minimal wear.

Water-Cooled Wear Zones

Water-cooled wear zones are an innovative, efficient, and economical way to improve operational accessibility and productivity for waste-fired power plants.

Experiences from the plants where we have installed water-cooled wear zones show that the total annual energy production has increased significantly – in many cases by as much as 25-30%. One plant is now handling 40% more waste after a conversion that includes the new wear zone technology.

Reducing maintenance costs by reducing refractory volume

Our water-cooled wear zone was developed to reduce the area of uncooled refractory in the furnace of our waste-to-energy boilers. The disadvantage of uncooled refractory is that because of high surface temperature it tends to build up large volumes of slag. This will often disturb the plant’s operation and in some cases, even shut down the plant. Reducing the refractory volume also reduces maintenance costs.

Constructed to ensure stability and withstand pressure

The wear zone is fully welded construction with relatively thick-walled tubes and plates. This is primarily to ensure structural stability, but also to provide a large allowance for erosion in the wear zone.

Extra energy

More heat absorption in the water-cooled wear zone can reduce the total amount of surface area in the radiant portion of the boiler, providing additional plant output.

Less down-time

The water-cooled wear zone replaces the refractory lining in the system’s most heavily used area and experience shows that a water-cooled wear zone has a longer life than refractory lining. If you have an existing waste-to-energy plant, we can build in a water-cooled wear zone during a standard maintenance outage.

VoluMix Systems

Proper, turbulent mixing of the flue gases in the boiler furnace provides a better combustion process and burn-out in the gas phase.

With the VoluMix™ system, all primary air passes through the narrow gap between the grate bars, creating a strong, turbulent combustion zone. The system is installed at the inlet of the first pass.

VoluMix ensures very low carbon monoxide (CO) and total organic carbon (TOC) content in the flue gas.

Advantages of VoluMix include:

  • Good mixing and combustion conditions in the furnace – gas-phase burnout
  • Staged combustion makes it possible to reduce the formation of fuel NOx
  • Avoidance of hot spots in the furnace and boiler which would speed up corrosion
  • Obtaining turbulent conditions for optimum burnout–low CO levels
  • Uniform temperature and velocity distribution in the convection passes to maximize heat transfer and residence time
  • Basis for low excess air resulting in high overall thermal efficiency
  • Eliminates the need for flue gas recirculation, saving fan investment cost, as well as operation and maintenance costs

Corrosion Protection

Combustion of municipal waste results in an environment within the boiler that is extremely corrosive. Corrosion in waste-fired boilers is primarily caused by chloride compounds which deposit on the furnace and convection pass tubes in combination with high temperatures. Proper protection from corrosion in these areas is paramount to plant availability and the successful long-term operation of these key boiler components.

A variety of solutions have been developed and used over the years to address lower furnace corrosion. One such solution is Inconel® weld overlay which was pioneered in waste-fired boilers and has gained general acceptance since the early 2000s on lower furnace walls of large mass-fired boilers.

The good corrosion resistance, high thermal conductivity, metallurgical bond to the base tube and membrane bar metals, and wear resistance have made Inconel overlay the primary approach for lower furnace corrosion protection in new designs.

B&W pioneered the use of Inconel as a solution to the lower furnace corrosion problem as well as other corrosion-susceptible areas. As early as 1986, the lower furnace tubes in a refuse-derived fuel-fired boiler in the U.S. was covered with Inconel weld overlay material. This overlay effectively minimized corrosion. Based on this experience, the industry followed B&W’s lead and Inconel weld overlay was subsequently field applied to the lower furnace of a number of operating boilers.

Spiral welding capability

As leaders in the use of this technology in waste-fired boiler applications, B&W is now applying Inconel cladding to other areas of the boiler that are susceptible to corrosion, including superheaters and evaporator tubes.

The spiral welding machine at our production facility in Esbjerg, Denmark, can apply Inconel cladding to a thickness of approximately 2 mm in a continuous welding process. Up to 8 tubes can be simultaneously processed at a length of up to 12 meters. During production, operators regularly check the Inconel layer thickness and monitor the welding technical parameters on each of the eight arcs. This ensures a smooth Inconel layer that meets specifications.

The Inconel coating allows conventional carbon steel boiler tubes to be used without affecting mechanical strength, while significantly extending the service life. It provides a high level of protection against the high temperatures and aggressive flue gases that are present in the highly corrosive environment of waste-to-energy furnaces and boilers. Inconel cladding also has an extremely high resistance to mechanical abrasion.

Other Inconel machining capabilities

In addition to spiral welding capability, a robotic welding machine is utilized to apply Inconel cladding to furnace wall panels.

Cold metal transfer (CMT) welding is used to apply Inconel cladding on panel walls. In this ‘cold welding’ process, a minimal amount of iron melts from the tubes into the Inconel cladding. Minimizing the iron content as much as possible within the Inconel cladding is integral to improving its durability.

Inconel replaces refractory lining for tube protection. It has a proven long life and is easy to visually identify when maintenance is necessary. With refractory, tube deterioration is often hidden, which may eventually lead to increased maintenance and repair costs.

Inconel is a trademark of Special Metals Corporation and its subsidiaries.