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The department was commissioned to investigate the possibilities for animal-fat combustion in industrial steam generators operating originally on fuel–oil or natural gas. There are two main reasons for operating generators on animal fat as a fuel: On one hand, this material is considered as hazardous waste, thus an important goal is its environmentally benign elimination or disposal. On the other hand, fat is an excellent energy source and can be used as combustion fuel. This way fossil fuel usage can be saved while environmental regulations can also be met. The usage of animal fat as a fuel for furnaces required classification according to fuel classification rules, and comparison with the properties of fuel oil. In addition, its pollutant content was determined and the effects on the combustion process and emission were investigated. Finally the savings in fossil fuel energy consumption and related CO2 emission achieved were determined. The first stage involved the determination of the composition of animal fat. Subsequently other properties such as viscosity and flash point variation were investigated. These data were compared to the properties of fuel oil. The theoretical investigations of animal-fat classification were promising. Initially one steam generator, originally designed for fuel oil combustion, was modified and fitted with a parallel animal fat fuel supply system. The results of the test were encouraging, although there were some problems with power regulation and later with fuel supply. A rotary cup type burner was then fitted to the boiler. Using this system, all the requirements including environmental regulations were met.

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