Advantages Of Using Pulverized Coal

In this article, I will share the advantages of using pulverized coal.


Pulverized coal is preferred to be used in some power plants because of the benefits it has.


Let us first discuss the advantages and after that at the end of this article, I will share the limitation of using pulverized coal.


You have to know that everything has its advantages and disadvantages.


Without wasting time, let me share why some other power plants prefer using pulverized coal.


These are the advantages of using pulverized coal;

1. A wide variety of coal can be used.

This is the first advantage of using pulverized coal in a power plant.


A wide variety of coal can be used when it’s pulverized.


Coal consists of different grades, and they both perform differently when it comes to the amount of heat they can deliver.


The lower-grade coals will always struggle to deliver the best combustion rate required while the higher-grade coal will do the best.


But when the coal is pulverized, it makes it easier for the lower-grade coals to burn completely and easily compared to when the coal is not grinded.


Grinding the coal makes it easier for the combustible particles to burn easily since they are tiny particles and the issue of grade is not highly considered.


2. Powdered coal has a large surface area.

Powdered coal offers a large surface area in which the coal will be exposed to air and the initial flame in the furnace.


The large surface area is necessary to ensure that the coal burns rapidly in the furnace producing the required amount of heat.


Large chunks of coal have a small surface area, thus it’s very hard for them to burn rapidly and easily.


It takes time for the big chunks of coal to burn rapidly in the furnace because they have a smaller surface area.


Which becomes a problem when a higher amount of heat energy is needed within a short period.


And that is why it’s advantageous to use powdered coal in power plants.


3. A low amount of excess air is required to burn pulverized coal.

Powdered coal requires a low amount of excess air for it to burn completely which makes it really amazing in situations where there is a limited supply of air.


The excess air is necessary to improve the ongoing combustion in the furnace.


So, if the furnace is located at a place where the supply of air is tricky because of the wrong installation, pulverized coal will perform better in such situations.


This is advantageous since one won’t need to vandalise the furnace and locate it somewhere where there is plenty of air.


That is another cost that will be added to the operation of the power plant.


And if the pulverized coal requires a low amount of excess air this means it burns easily without so much work being put fireside.


The only thing that will be required is to fire the fuel and let it burn.


4. It’s rare for pulverized coal to form clinkers.

Using pulverized coal is advantageous since it minimized the formation of clinkers.


This is essential because it keeps the furnace clean and effective as it burns the fuel.


Clinker formation increases the maintenance of the furnace and lowers its efficiency.


So, with the type of coal where clinker formation is a chronic problem, pulverized coal will be the best solution.


The clinkers rarely form because the fuel is powdered; it rarely stays in the furnace for longer because most of it is burnt before it even settles in the furnace.


5. It makes good use of the preheated air.

The preheated air that helps ignite the fuel as it enters the furnace is used sufficiently with the pulverized coal.


The fact that the powdered coal has smaller particles, the preheated air can even be used to burn some part of the fuel that comes in the furnace.


This ensures that the preheated air is used to the maximum thus minimizing heat losses from the furnace.


You might like this: Type Of Heat Losses In a Steam Plant (+How To Minimize Them)


When the powdered coal enters the furnace it’s already dry because it was heated and blown.


This makes it even easier for the fuel to burn rapidly and keeps the flame longer than anticipated.

This increases the amount of heat produced from the furnace thus increasing the efficiency of the power plant.


6. Repairing can be done without cooling the system.

The equipment that is used to crush and grind the coal is located outside the furnace which makes it easier to do the repairs without cooling down or turning off the entire system.


This is advantageous because when the system is cooled down or turned off because of the repairs, it will take longer for it to reach its initial temperature.


This means that most of the power plant processes will lag because the amount of heat will take quite some time to be at its optimal point.


7. Higher temperatures can be produced with pulverized coal.

Pulverized coal produces higher temperatures because of the rapid burning that is achieved.


The coal is powdered thus it mixes with the air easily, it utilizes the preheated air sufficiently and doesn’t allow the formation of clinkers.


All these are some of the reasons why pulverized coal produces higher temperatures.


When the fuel is fed into the furnace it burns rapidly and faster producing higher temperatures compared to when it’s not pulverized.


So, a power plant process that requires high temperatures for its operation to go smoothly should consider using pulverized coal.




Grinding the coal is essential if your coal is lower grade and it has issues when it comes to burning.


The pulverized coal can increase the efficiency of your furnace by a large percentage.


If you are struggling to achieve the desired flame temperature then you should consider using pulverized coal.


The limitation of using pulverized coal is that you will need to invest in grinding equipment such as ball mills and ball and race mills.


These pieces of equipment will need to be maintained which will add to the cost of operation.


There are more disadvantages that I will cover in my coming article.


You might like this: Disadvantages Of Using Pulverized Coal


If you can squeeze your budget and get these pieces of equipment then you should consider using pulverized coal.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions just leave a comment. See you in my next article.


Related articles to check.

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  2. Properties Of Coal Selected For Steam Power Plants
  3. Conditions That A Burning Equipment (furnace) Should Fulfill
  4. Pulverized Fuel Burner: Components, Types, Requirements and Working Principle
  5. Overfeed & Underfeed Stokers: Classification and Working Principles

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