A thermogravimetric assessment of the tri-combustion process for coal, biomass and polyethylene

Liao Xinjie, Surjit Singh*, Haiping Yang, Chunfei Wu, Shihong Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was applied to evaluate the combustion behaviour of combining three feedstocks coal, biomass and polyethylene as a tri-fuel for various blend ratios. The feed materials assessed were bituminous coal (BC), anthracite coal (AC), camphor wood (CW), wheat straw (WS) and polyethylene-terephthalate (PET). The kinetic parameters of the tri-fuel blends were assessed using a Coats-Redfern integral method. The kinetic analysis indicates that the tri-fuel combustion mechanisms follow the diffusion model (D1 & D4) and can be separated in to three distinct stages. TGA analysis demonstrated that an increase in the blend ratio of biomass (CW/WS) and plastic (PET) enhances the combustion properties with respect to lowering the ignition (Ti) and burnout (Th) temperatures, along with an increase in the combustion stability indices (Cs/Csi). This enhancement of the combustion behaviour is more evident for the lower volatile anthracite coal tri-fuel blends. As the blend ratio of the anthracite coal is lowered the overall hydrocarbon-volatile content is increased as a function of increasing the biomass and plastic blend ratios. Laboratory scale analytical analysis of blending biomass, plastic with either bituminous coal or anthracite coal demonstrates a synergistic influence which is observed to benefit the overall combustion behaviour (enhanced mass loss rate and burnout). However, further investigation of tri-fuel blending streams assessing the combustion performance (Ti, Th, Ci, Csi, Ea, flue gas emissions and ash chemistry) is required at pilot and plant scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119355
Number of pages14
Early online date31 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFB0600203). The authors would like to thank the Analytical and Testing Centre based at Huazhong University of Science & Technology ( http://atc.hust.edu.cn ) for their technical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Biomass
  • Bituminous coal/Anthracite coal
  • Polyethylene
  • TGA
  • Tri-combustion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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