An Essential Global Discussion for CFB Boilers Industry Professionals

The 4th International Conference on Circulating Fluidized Bed Boilers (CFB Boilers) was quite an event! We gathered virtually on November 27-28, 2021, thanks to the efforts of Tsinghua University, Chongqing University, and Pusan National University. I’ll take you through the highlights of this groundbreaking conference.

Our mission at the 4th CFBB was to tackle the pressing issue of developing a green power system in line with the “peak carbon and carbon neutral” strategic goal. In today’s world, renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are on the rise. Simultaneously, coal-fired thermal power units are undergoing a significant upgrade and transformation, taking on a crucial role in regulating and securing power supply. This transformation is essential in achieving our vision of a new, sustainable energy landscape.

Under the guidance of our esteemed Chairperson, Professor Hairui Yang from Tsinghua University, we had the privilege of hosting renowned experts from around the globe. Bo Leckner from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Rafal Kobylecki from the Technical University of Czestochowa in Poland, and Fabrizio Leckner from Pusan National University in Korea were just a few of the exceptional minds in attendance. They were joined by other experts such as Fabrizio Scala from Federico II University of Naples in Italy, Xiaofeng Lu from Chongqing University in China, and Dongfang Li, a PhD candidate from Pusan National University, Korea.

The heart of our discussions revolved around three crucial themes: “the use of coal and renewable energy,” “the development of fluidized bed technology and CFB Boilers,” and “the scientific and engineering challenges facing CFB Boilers.” All of these discussions took place in the broader context of “carbon neutrality and carbon peaking.” It was a dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences as we delved into these critical topics.

One of the key takeaways from our discussions was the recognition of the vital role fluidized bed technology and CFB Boilers play in our future energy landscape. As we march toward a greener, more sustainable world, addressing the challenges and opportunities in these fields becomes increasingly urgent. The 4th CFBB was a milestone in charting the course for the development of these technologies and solving the problems that lie ahead.

In essence, our conference was a hub of knowledge and innovation, where experts and scholars from diverse backgrounds came together to shape the future of clean energy generation. We left the 4th CFBB with a clearer vision of the path forward, and we’re excited to see how these insights will contribute to the realization of a cleaner, greener power system.

Cfb Boilers

Coal and Renewable Energy use

When it comes to achieving the ambitious goal of “peak carbon and carbon neutrality,” it’s clear that we’re in for a diverse journey. The path to sustainability involves gradually reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, particularly coal, while simultaneously boosting energy efficiency on a global scale. However, the specific conditions and challenges faced by different countries in their quest for “carbon neutrality” can vary significantly.

In Europe, many countries have already reached the milestone of “peak carbon.” Over the past two decades, they’ve made significant strides in developing renewable energy systems and reshaping their energy production and supply landscapes. Yet, the road to carbon neutrality is far from uniform. Each nation faces its unique set of circumstances.

Professor Fabrizio Scala highlights the disparities among countries like Poland and Spain, which heavily depend on coal for energy production, making it challenging for them to swiftly transition away from this resource. In contrast, Italy and France, with fewer coal resources in their energy mix, find it relatively easier to reduce their coal dependence. While it’s nearly impossible for all European nations to entirely eliminate coal in a short period, the shift towards renewable energy is an inevitable global trend.

Professor Bo Leckner emphasizes that countries like China and Poland, rich in coal resources, face intricate challenges in eliminating coal entirely due to their strong economic ties to it. Meanwhile, Sweden, lacking substantial coal resources, has greater flexibility in phasing out coal from its energy production system.

Professor Rafal Kobylecki adds a pragmatic perspective, acknowledging that while many European countries are striving to reduce coal dependence, a complete departure from coal in social production is exceptionally challenging. In industries like chemicals, where coal is a primary raw material, carbon dioxide emissions are substantial. He suggests focusing on carbon capture during coal combustion to strike a balance between emissions and capture.

Professor Fabrizio Scala underscores how Italy and similar countries have largely concluded large-scale coal research, with energy companies actively transforming their business models. While carbon capture technology remains costly, ongoing technological advancements and government carbon tax policies are expected to facilitate widespread adoption.

Renewable energy, despite its promise, presents challenges due to its volatility. As the share of renewable energy in our systems grows, the need for energy storage technology becomes more pronounced. Italy, for example, currently compensates for renewable energy shortfalls with fossil fuels, which is unsustainable in the long run. Thus, energy storage technologies, such as methane production from surplus renewable energy, are gaining attention. Germany’s proposal to convert excess renewable energy into methane through catalytic reactions offers a way to store and utilize energy efficiently. Similarly, hydrogen production and storage from renewable sources represent promising avenues for research and development.

In summary, the journey towards “peak carbon and carbon neutrality” is a complex one, with each country navigating its unique challenges. Concrete actions must align with individual circumstances. While completely eliminating coal may not be feasible for all, reducing direct coal combustion in energy and related industries is an essential step for countries like China, South Korea, and Poland.

Developments in Fluidized Bed Technology and CFB Boilers

When it comes to fluidized bed technology and CFB Boilers, there’s an exciting wave of innovation on the horizon. Let’s delve into the latest developments from our esteemed experts.

Professor Bo Leckner sheds light on the potential of oxygen-enriched combustion, chemical chain combustion, and carbon dioxide capture in reducing emissions from CFB Boilers. However, a common challenge in these advancements is the focus on theoretical and laboratory-scale research. What’s needed now is more data from large-scale experiments to realize these technologies fully. One intriguing idea is obtaining oxygen through water electrolysis, powered by renewable energy sources like Sweden’s large-scale hydrogen production, providing a surplus of oxygen for oxyfuel combustion.

Professor Rafal Kobylecki brings attention to Poland’s efforts to substitute biomass for coal. However, this transition poses its own set of challenges, including particulate matter emissions. He suggests broadening the horizons of fluidized bed technology beyond combustion. Instead of just burning biomass, we can process it to obtain biocarbon, which has a broader range of environmentally friendly applications.

Professor Fabrizio Scala chimes in with additional applications for fluidized bed technology, such as gasification and pyrolysis. Pyrolysis, in particular, yields biocarbon, which can find markets in various industrial applications, including carbon sequestration and activated carbon preparation.

Professor Bo Leckner emphasizes the need to explore new application scenarios for fluidized bed technology while efficiently managing biomass resources for renewable use.

Dr. Dongfang Li shares insights from Korea, where efforts are underway to blend ammonia with coal in coal-fired boilers, including CFB Boilers, as part of the nation’s goal to achieve “Carbon Neutrality by 2050.”

Professor Xiaofeng Lu underscores that even without burning coal, CFB Boilers face a host of challenges that demand solutions.

Professor Hairui Yang encourages us to think beyond combustion, exploring chemical conversions of coal into gasification and liquefaction processes. He emphasizes the importance of making CFB Boilers flexible to consume renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. Technologies like oxyfuel combustion, chemical chain combustion, and carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage, although not widely commercialized yet, are expected to gain traction as countries implement “dual-carbon” policies aimed at reducing emissions.

In conclusion, fluidized bed technology is on the cusp of a new era, with promising applications and innovations on the horizon. Beyond boilers, this technology is set to play a more significant role in diverse applications across different countries. For instance, ongoing research is exploring fluidized thermochemical heat storage using bulk industrial solid waste pyrochlorite slag and fluidized bed technology—a promising avenue for the future.

Cfb Boilers

Scientific and Engineering Challenges Facing CFB Boilers

The realm of CFB Boilers presents a unique set of scientific and engineering challenges that experts are actively addressing. Here’s an insight into some of these challenges from our esteemed panel:

Professor Harry Yang highlights a significant challenge in China, where the focus is on achieving stable combustion and ultra-low emissions while ensuring flexible variable load operation, ranging from full load to below 20% load.

Professor Bo Leckner points out the evolving demands for CFB Boilers. Traditionally, these boilers operated under relatively stable loads. However, with the need to complement intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar, they must now adapt to frequent variable load operation. To achieve this, understanding the dynamic behavior of these boilers under variable load conditions becomes crucial. While current knowledge relies heavily on modeling, these models may not fully represent real-world processes. Therefore, developing effective measurements to enhance our understanding of furnace chamber processes is vital.

Professor Rafal Kobylecki emphasizes the importance of dynamic regulation in CFB Boilers. In Poland, these boilers can achieve a load regulation rate of 10% per minute at full load. However, frequent load adjustments have been shown to significantly reduce equipment lifespan, potentially increasing production costs.

Professor Fabrizio Scala points out that in Europe, many challenges related to CFB Boilers are linked to biomass and waste. Key issues include understanding the impact of fuel type and ash composition on bed clumping and tube corrosion.

Professor Yang Hairui underlines China’s concern regarding the utilization of slag and fly ash from these boilers. Although some slag is used to produce materials like cement, utilization rates remain relatively low. The quality of ash also varies depending on factors such as coal type and furnace desulfurization, further complicating recycling efforts. Economic disparities between regions also impact the utilization of ash and slag, with more developed regions finding more end-users for these by-products.

In Poland, Professor Rafal Kobylecki notes a focus on ash recycling, particularly after biomass combustion.

Professor Bo Leckner highlights the potential for metal extraction and recycling in CFB Boilers dealing with municipal solid waste. However, the cost of this production process remains a significant challenge.

In conclusion, the world of CFB Boilers is a dynamic one, with challenges ranging from combustion efficiency and load flexibility to ash recycling and metal extraction. These experts are committed to overcoming these obstacles, paving the way for more sustainable and efficient energy production.


In pursuit of the global goal of “carbon peak and carbon neutrality,” countries worldwide acknowledge the challenges of rapidly transitioning away from coal dependence. While this shift won’t happen overnight, it’s an inevitable transformation from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Technologies like oxygen-rich combustion, chemical chain combustion, and carbon dioxide capture hold promise for reducing carbon emissions in the production of CFB Boilers. To fully comprehend the potential and challenges, there’s a pressing need for large-scale experimental research.

Scientifically, the challenge facing CFB Boilers in the context of “dual carbon” policies is to enhance measurement techniques for a deeper understanding of furnace processes. On the engineering front, key hurdles include achieving rapid variable load operation, stable combustion, ultra-low emissions, and efficient utilization of ash resources.

Beyond combustion applications in CFB Boilers, fluidized bed technology is venturing into new realms, such as energy storage. This expansion into diverse applications promises to unlock new possibilities.

Through the international dialogues of the 4th International Conference on CFB Boilers, experts and scholars have reached a consensus. They believe that fluidized bed technology, including CFB Boilers, will continue to play an indispensable role in the ongoing transition toward a sustainable energy future.

DHB Boiler

Discover The Superior Quality And Cutting-Edge Technology Of DHB Boilers. Explore Our Range Of Biomass Boilers, Waste Heat Boilers, And More. Take Your Industrial Operations To New Heights With DHB Boiler.

Share Post:

Related Products:

Boiler Fittings

The tube shield is a common component of the heating part of tubes. It is usually used in power station boilers. The useful life of

Read More »

Air Preheater

Air preheater(APH)is the shell and tube type heat exchangers used for preheating the air which is fed to the boiler or furnaces/ kilns for combustion

Read More »

Boiler water wall

Boiler water wall panels are a series of tubes welded together tangentially or with membrane bar between them to form the walls of the boilers

Read More »

Boiler Superheater

The Boiler Superheater is a coil type heat exchanger which is used to produce superheated steam or to convert the wet steam to dry steam,

Read More »

Boiler Steam Drum

The steam drum stores the steam generated in the water tubes and acts as a phase-separator for the steam/water mixture. Steam is separated from the

Read More »
Stay Connected

Latest Blogs