Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)

Heat Power Biomass technologies Biomass furnace

Project ID 03KB145

FuelBand2 - Plant and feedstock optimisation for higher fuel flexibility of biomass furnaces

Ash deposits in the radiation part of the combined heat and power plant (Source: FAU)


  • 01.07.2018 – 30.06.2021


Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Chair of Energy Process Engineering
Fürther Straße 244f
90429 Nürnberg

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Karl

Thomas Plankenbühler – project leader
Telephone: +49 (0)911 5302-9031


03KB145B - aixprocess GmbH
03KB145C - Stadtwerk Tauberfranken
03KB145D - Fraunhofer Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT, Institutsteil Sulzbach-Rosenberg

Associated partners

Cooperation partners



The project addresses ash deposition („slagging and fouling“) in biomass-fired heat and power plants. The principle goal is to achieve a reduction of ash and slag contaminations and the development of an on-line detection system in order to facilitate suitable countermeasures. This potentially allows the utilization of higher shares of low-rank feedstock like forest residues.


The project aims at the evaluation of different fuel pre-treatment and plant operation strategies in order to reduce the ash deposition propensity in megawatt-scale combustion plants. These strategies will be implemented into an “online ash deposition system”, a framework based on realtime process data and additional sensors. Using a machine learning approach and regression modelling, empirical and experience-based plant control strategies will be applied and demonstrated for ash deposition mitigation in industrial-scale biomass combustion


FAU-EVT performs lab-scale experiments in order to examine the emergence of ash deposition phenomena for a variety of feedstock and fuel blends. Furthermore, the CFD ash deposition prediction methodology from the “FuelBand” project (12/2012–12/2015) will be further improved and applied at the partner’s 6 MW biomass plant.

Aixprocess develops an ash deposition online monitoring tool based on neural networks and pattern regnition. This tool will be applied at the Bad Mergentheim 6 MW biomass plant. As data basis serve process data, additional sensors and a realtime CFD model of the plant’s status.

Stadtwerk Tauberfranken
Stadtwerk Tauberfranken provides their biomass CHP plant in Bad Mergentheim. This plant serves as demonstration facility for all proposed measures, including the ash deposition monitoring tool.
In addition, SWT performs a long-term fuel monitoring in order to assess typical feedstock quality parameters and their (short-time and seasonal) fluctuations.

Fraunhofer Umsicht
Fraunhofer Umsicht evaluates ash deposition mitigation strategies at their 440 kW grate combustor. This includes the removal of fine particles (by sieving), improved air-staging and additives. All experiments are performed with real feedstock from the Bad Mergentheim power plant.



  • Lab-scale investigation of slagging and fouling of biomass feedstock, development of a CFD framework for ash deposition prediction, assessment of general plant operation strategies


  • Development of a self-learning ash deposition monitoring tool, real-time CFD simulations

Stadtwerk Tauberfranken

  • Provision of plant infrastructure in Bad Mergentheim, support in the development and evaluation of the ash deposition monitoring tool, fuel analysis

Fraunhofer Umsicht

  • Examination of ash deposition mitigation and avoidance strategies


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