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Journal Article
Teixeira, Paula, Helena Lopes, Ibrahim Gulyurtlu, Nuno Lapa, and Pedro Abelha. "Evaluation of slagging and fouling tendency during biomass co-firing with coal in a fluidized bed." Biomass & Bioenergy. 39 (2012): 192-203. AbstractWebsite

Over the last decades, several indices based on ash chemistry and ash fusibility have been used to predict the ash behaviour during coal combustion, namely, its tendency for slagging and fouling. However, due to the physical–chemical differences between coals and biomass, in this work only the applicability of an ash fusibility index (AFI) to the combustion and co-combustion of three types of biomass (straw pellets, olive cake and wood pellets) with coals was evaluated. The AFI values were compared with the behaviour of ash during combustion in a pilot fluidized bed and a close agreement was observed between them. For a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with bed ash sintering, they were evaluated by SEM/EDS and the elements present on the melted ash were identified. Evidences of different sintering mechanisms were found out for the fruit biomass and herbaceous biomass tested, depending on the relative proportions of problematic elements. The particles deposited on a fouling probe inserted in the FBC were analyzed by XRD and the differences between the compounds identified allowed concluding that the studied biomasses present different tendencies for fouling. Identification of KCl and K2SO4 in the deposits confirmed the higher tendency for fouling of fruit biomass tested rather than wood pellets.

Mendes, B., P. Urbano, C. Alves, J. Morais, N. Lapa, and J. F. Oliveira. "Fungi as environmental microbiological indicators." Water Science and Technology. 38.12 (1998): 155-162. AbstractWebsite

An evaluation of the mycological quality of the sand beaches of the Lisboa and Vale do Tejo coastal area in Portugal was undertaken in May-October 1994. The keratinolytic fungi, yeasts, potential pathogenic and allergic and/or environmental saprophytic fungi were analysed. The results for the yeast Candida were evaluated according to the “Proposed Guidelines for the Microbiological Quality of Sand” (Mendes et al., 1993). The data showed good/satisfactory quality of the sand beaches for the genus Candida. The results indicate that the allergic and/or environmental saprophytic fungi were the most common in sand beaches. The fungi Scopulariopsis and the yeast Candida could be used as specific indicator organisms of sand beaches quality. A new quality objective is introduced that will contribute to improve the sand beaches quality.

Lapa, N., R. Barbosa, S. Camacho, R. C. C. Monteiro, M. H. V. Fernandes, and J. S. Oliveira. "Leaching behaviour of a glass produced from a MSWI bottom ash." Materials Science Forum. 514-516 (2006): 1736-1741. AbstractWebsite

This paper is mainly focused on the characterisation of a glass material (GM) obtained from the thermal treatment of a bottom ash (BA) produced at the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) incineration plant of Valorsul. By melting the BA at 1400ºC during 2 hours, and without using any chemical additives, a homogeneous black-coloured glass was obtained. The thermal and mechanical properties of this glass were characterised. The thermal expansion coefficient, measured by dilatometry, was 9-10 x 10-6 per ºC and the modulus of rupture, determined by four-point bending test, was 75±6 MPa, which are similar values to those exhibited by commercial soda-lime-silica glasses used in structural applications. The chemical and the ecotoxicological leaching behaviour of the GM were also analysed. The GM was submitted to a leaching procedure composed of 15 sequential extraction cycles. A liquid/solid (L/S) ratio of 2 l/kg was applied in each cycle. The leachates were filtered through a membrane of PTFE (porosity: 0.45 8m). The filtered leachates were characterised for different chemical parameters and for an ecotoxicological indicator (bacterium Vibrio fischeri). The GM was also submitted to a microwave acidic digestion for the assessment of the total metal content. The crude BA was also submitted to the same experimental procedures. The GM showed levels of chemical emission and ecotoxicity for V. fischeri much lower than those determined for the crude BA. Similar characterisation studies will be pursued with the glass-ceramics produced by adequate thermal treatment of the glass, in order to investigate the effect of the crystallization on the final properties.

Bernardo, M., N. Lapa, M. Gonçalves, B. Mendes, F. Pinto, I. Fonseca, and H. Lopes. "Physico-chemical properties of chars obtained in the co-pyrolysis of waste mixtures." Journal of Hazardous Materials. 219-220 (2012): 196-202. AbstractWebsite

The present work aims to perform a multistep upgrading of chars obtained in the co-pyrolysis of PE, PP and PS plastic wastes, pine biomass and used tires. The quality of the upgraded chars was evaluated by measuring some of their physico-chemical properties in order to assess their valorisation as adsorbents’ precursors. The crude chars were submitted to a sequential solvent extraction with organic solvents of increasing polarity (hexane, mixture 1:1 v/v hexane:acetone and acetone) followed by an acidic demineralization procedure with 1 M HCl solution. The results obtained showed that the upgrading treatment allow the recovery of 63–81% of the pyrolysis oils trapped in the crude chars and a reduction in the char's ash content in the range of 64–86%. The textural and adsorption properties of the upgraded chars were evaluated and the results indicate that the chars are mainly mesoporous and macroporous materials, with adsorption capacities in the range of 3.59–22.2 mg/g for the methylene blue dye. The upgrading treatment allowed to obtain carbonaceous materials with quality to be reused as adsorbents or as precursors for activated carbon.

Lapa, N., J. Morais, and J. F. Santos Oliveira. "A qualidade de vida em Portugal." Indústria e Ambiente. 5 (1995): 15-24.
Guerrero, C., J. Carrasco de Brito, N. Lapa, and J. F. Santos Oliveira. "Re-use of industrial orange wastes as organic fertilizers." Bioresource Technology. 53.1 (1995): 43-51. AbstractWebsite

The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility of the re-use of industrial orange wastes as organic soil fertilizer. The assay was performed with a lettuce variety widely produced and consumed in Portugal and, consequently, with great commercial interest. Lactuca sativa L. (osteolata variety) was cultivated in Mitcherlich pots containing samples of a poor soil of the Algarve region. This soil was prepared with different amounts of either pulp or peel orange-wastes from an orange-juice industry. The wastes were applied according to an increasing amount of nitrogen. The results obtained were submitted to statistical tests, in order to find the relations between the production of fresh and dry matter, and the percentages of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron) that were obtained in the dry matter, with the types and amounts of wastes applied. An increase in the average production of both fresh- and dry-matter with increasing amounts of either pulp or peel wastes applied, and high positive correlation coefficients between the average percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium obtained in the dry matter with the average production of both fresh- and dry-matter were found. No phytotoxicity was observed.

Barbosa, R., N. Lapa, H. Lopes, I. Gulyurtlu, and B. Mendes. "Stabilization/solidification of fly ashes and concrete production from bottom and circulating ashes produced in a power plant working under mono and co-combustion conditions." Waste Management. 31.9-10 (2011): 2009-2019. AbstractWebsite

Two combustion tests were performed in a fluidized bed combustor of a thermo-electric power plant: (1) combustion of coal; (2) co-combustion of coal (68.7% w/w), sewage sludge (9.2% w/w) and meat and bone meal (MBM) (22.1% w/w).

Three samples of ashes (bottom, circulating and fly ashes) were collected in each combustion test. The ashes were submitted to the following assays: (a) evaluation of the leaching behaviour; (b) stabilization/solidification of fly ashes and evaluation of the leaching behaviour of the stabilized/solidified (s/s) materials; (c) production of concrete from bottom and circulating ashes. The eluates of all materials were submitted to chemical and ecotoxicological characterizations. The crude ashes have shown similar chemical and ecotoxicological properties. The s/s materials have presented compressive strengths between 25 and 40 MPa, low emission levels of metals through leaching and were classified as non-hazardous materials. The formulations of concrete have presented compressive strengths between 12 and 24 MPa. According to the Dutch Building Materials Decree, some concrete formulations can be used in both scenarios of limited moistening and without insulation, and with permanent moistening and with insulation.

Paradela, F., F. Pinto, I. Gulyurtlu, I. Cabrita, and N. Lapa. "Study of the co-pyrolysis of biomass and plastic wastes." Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. 11.1 (2009): 115-122. AbstractWebsite

This work aimed to study the recovery of two types of waste by the process of pyrolysis. The obtained results show that the adding of a plastic mix improves the overall efficiency of the slow pyrolysis of pine. Therefore, it was possible to achieve higher liquid yields and less solid product than in the classic slow pyrolysis carbonization of biomass. The obtained liquids showed heating values similar to that of heating fuel oil. The gas products had energetic contents superior to that of producer gas, and the obtained solid fractions showed heating values higher than some coals. There were also identified some typical products of fast biomass pyrolysis used as raw material in several industries. The effects of experimental conditions in product yield and composition were also studied. The parameters that showed higher influence were (with its increase): reaction time on gas product composition (increase of the alkane content) and on liquid composition (increase in aromatics content); reaction temperature on product yield (decrease of liquid yield with increase of solids and gases) and on gas product composition (increase in alkane content); initial pressure on liquid composition (increase in the aromatics content) and mainly the pine content of the initial mixture on products yield (increase of gas and solid yield with a decrease in liquids) and on the gas product composition (favouring CO and CO2 formation).

Bernardo, M., N. Lapa, M. Gonçalves, B. Mendes, and F. Pinto. "Study of the organic extraction and acid leaching of chars obtained in the pyrolysis of plastics, tire rubber and forestry biomass wastes." Procedia Engineering. 42 (2012): 1909-1916. AbstractWebsite

The present work aims to perform a characterization of chars obtained in the co-pyrolysis of waste mixtures composed by plastics, tires and pine biomass, to provide knowledge about the composition, leaching behavior and risk assessment of these materials in order to define strategies for their possible valorization or safe disposal. The chars were submitted to sequential solvent extractions with organic solvents of increasing polarity that allow the recovery of significant amounts of the pyrolysis oils trapped in the crude chars improving the yield of the pyrolysis liquids. An acidic demineralization procedure was successfully applied to the chars and high efficiency removals of the majority of the heavy metals were achieved. The demineralization study also demonstrated that hazardous heavy metals such as chromium, nickel and cadmium are significantly immobilized in the char matrix, and other heavy metals of concern such as zinc and lead will not represent a leaching problem if acidic conditions were not used. The obtained chars present sufficient quality and characteristics to be used as fuel or alternatively, to be used as adsorbents or precursors of activated carbon.

Bernardo, M., N. Lapa, M. Gonçalves, R. Barbosa, B. Mendes, F. Pinto, and I. Gulyurtlu. "Toxicity of char residues produced in the co-pyrolysis of different wastes." Waste Management. 30.4 (2010): 628-635. AbstractWebsite

Char residues produced in the co-pyrolysis of different wastes (plastics, pine biomass and used tyres) were characterized using chemical and toxicity assays. One part of the solid chars was submitted to extraction with dichloromethane (DCM) in order to reduce the toxicity of the char residues by removing organic contaminants. The different volatility fractions present in the extracted char (Char A) and in the raw char (Char B) were determined by progressive weight loss combustion. A selected group of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, Hg and As) was determined in both chars.

The chars were subjected to the leaching test ISO/TS 21268 – 2, 2007 and the resulting eluates were further characterized by determining a group of inorganic parameters (pH, conductivity, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, Hg and As contents) and the concentrations of several organic contaminants (volatile aromatic hydrocarbons and alkyl phenols). An ecotoxicological characterization was also performed by using the bio-indicator Vibrio fischeri.

The chemical and ecotoxicological results were analyzed according to the Council Decision 2003/33/CE and the criteria on the evaluation methods of waste ecotoxicity (CEMWE).

The results obtained in this work indicated that the extraction with DCM is an effective method for the removal of organic contaminants of high to medium volatility from pyrolysis solid residues, thus decreasing their toxicity potential. Zn can be leached from the chars even after the DCM extraction treatment and can contribute to the ecotoxicity of the eluates obtained from chars.

Both chars (treated and non treated with DCM) were classified as hazardous and ecotoxic wastes.

Teixeira, Paula, Helena Lopes, Ibrahim Gulyurtlu, and Nuno Lapa. "Uncertainty estimation to evaluate mass balances on a combustion system." Accreditation and Quality Assurance. 17.2 (2012): 159-166. AbstractWebsite

Mass balances of ash and potassium for a fluidized bed combustor were performed incorporating measurement uncertainties. The total output mass of ash or a chemical element should be equal to the mass in the input fuel; however, this is not often achieved. A realistic estimation of recovery uncertainty can support the reliability of a mass balance. Estimation of uncertainty helps to establish a reliable evaluation of the recovery ratio of ash mass and elemental mass. This may clarify whether any apparent lack in closing the mass balance can be attributed to uncertainties. The evaluation of measurement uncertainty for different matrices, namely coal, biomass, sand and ashes from different streams was based on internal quality control data and external quality control data, namely analysis of samples from proficiency tests or use of a certified reference material. The evaluation of intermediate precision and trueness allowed the estimation of measurement uncertainty. Due to the different physic and chemical characteristics of the studied matrices, the uncertainty of precision was evaluated using R-charts of data obtained from the analysis of duplicates for the majority of samples. This allowed evaluating sample heterogeneity effects. The instrumental acceptance criterion was also considered and included in the combined uncertainty. The trueness was evaluated using data from several proficiency tests and from analysis of a certified reference material or sample spiking. Statistically significant bias was included.

Teixeira, P., H. Lopes, I. Gulyurtlu, and N. Lapa. "Use of chemical fractionation to understand partitioning of biomass ash constituents during co-firing in fluidized bed combustion." Fuel. 101 (2012): 215-227. AbstractWebsite

Three species of biomass origin (straw pellets, olive cake and wood pellets) and two coals from different countries (Coal Polish and Coal Colombian) have been studied to understand the fate of their ash forming matter during the combustion process and to investigate the influence of co-firing biomass with coal. Three different approaches to investigate the ash behaviour were employed: (1) chemical fractionation analysis to evaluate the association/reactivity of ash forming elements in the fuels as a prediction tool, (2) establishment of elements partitioning in ash streams produced in the combustion and co-combustion trials, and (3) evaluation of enrichment factors of elements in the ash streams. The chemical fractionation analysis was applied to all fuels used to evaluate how the association/reactivity of elements making up ash may influence their behaviour during combustion. Combustion tests were carried out on a pilot scale fluidized bed combustor (FBC). Four ash streams were obtained at different locations. The uncertainty of measurements was estimated allowing a critical evaluation of mass balances over the combustion system and the partitioning of elements in the ash streams. The enrichment factors of elements in the several ash streams were estimated, incorporating uncertainties associated with analytical measurements. Results obtained showed that for FBC the relation between the chemical fractionation and the experimental partitioning is strongly affected by elutriation of particles. The element enrichment factor estimated for each ash stream, using Al as a reference element, revealed better correlations with the elements reactivity obtained by chemical fractionation because it overcomes particles elutriation effects. Nevertheless, it was observed that the reactivity estimated by chemical fractionation could not be solely interpreted as tendency of the elements to volatilize on FBC system, as reaction in bed zone of boiler may also occur retaining reactive elements.

Barbosa, Rui, Diogo Dias, Nuno Lapa, and Benilde Mendes. "Using biomass ashes in concretes exposed to salted water and freshwater: mechanical and chemical properties." Advanced Materials Research. 587 (2012): 16-20. AbstractWebsite

The main aim of this work was to assess the possibility of using biomass ashes as substitutes for cement and natural aggregates in concretes without compromising their mechanical and chemical properties. Thirteen concrete formulations were prepared with different percentages of bottom and fly ashes produced at a forest biomass power plant. These formulations were submitted to mechanical compressive strength assays, after 28, 60 and 90 days of maturation. The reference formulation F1 that was produced without biomass ashes and one formulation incorporating fly and bottom ashes, F4, were selected for further characterization. After 90 days of maturation, the selected formulations were submitted to the leaching test described in the European Standard EN12457-2 (L/S ratio of 10 L/kg, in a batch extraction cycle of 24h) by using two different leaching agents: a synthetic marine medium (ASPM medium) and a synthetic freshwater medium (ISO 6341 medium). The eluates produced were submitted to chemical characterization which comprised a set of metals (As, Sb, Se, Cu, Zn, Ba, Hg, Cd, Mo, Pb, Ni, Cr, Cr VI, Al, Fe, Mg, Na, K and Ca), pH, SO42-, F-, dissolved organic carbon, chlorides, phenolic compounds and total dissolved solids. The substitution of 10% cement by fly ashes has not promoted the reduction of the compressive strength of concrete. The new formulation F4 has presented emission levels of chemical species similar or even lower to those observed for the reference formulation F1.

Lapa, N., J. Morais, and J. F. Santos Oliveira. "Valorização de lamas de ETAR’s como fertilizantes dos solos." Indústria e Ambiente. 2 (1994): 4-10.