CFBC Boiler’s reliability challenge threatens business survival, but BiC Promoter’s success case study offers hope

CFBC Boiler’s reliability challenge threatens business survival, but BiC Promoter’s success case study offers hope

This case study focuses on a CFBC (Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion) boiler that experienced poor performance due to fouling issues. The company sought the expertise of BiC Promoter to address the problem and achieve satisfactory boiler operation. This report presents a detailed account of the situation, the problem statement, the study, and planning undertaken, the proposed solution, implemented actions, and the ultimate conclusion.



  • The company had a captive power plant to ensure uninterrupted steam and power supply to its chemical plant.
  • An additional CFBC boiler was procured, leveraging new technology with high efficiency and multi-fuel capability.

However, since its commissioning, the boiler exhibited stability issues due to ash fouling, leading to frequent shutdowns for cleaning and significant production losses.

Problem Statement:

  • The CFBC boiler accounted for 35% of the total steam and power generation capacity, making its reliability crucial for uninterrupted plant operations.
  • The fouling of ash inside the boiler caused restrictions in the flue gas path, leading to high-velocity erosion and damage, necessitating immediate shutdowns.
  • Previous attempts by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and other experts failed to resolve the problem, causing strained relations between the manufacturer and the client.


Study and Planning:
BiC Promoter, an Instrument Engineering background expert, took charge of the captive power plant and specifically focused on addressing the boiler issues.
To assess the problem accurately, a team of chemical engineers was assembled to analyze the situation from a different perspective.
The objective was to determine whether the problem was mechanical or chemical in nature, aiming to find a viable solution.

The chemical engineers conducted an ash analysis, which indicated the presence of a chemical issue rather than a mechanical one.
Extensive research was conducted, including studying reports from Canadian and Russian institutes and books on combustion chemistry from the USA.
It was discovered that the combustion chemistry was affected by the quality of the ash content in the coal being used.


  • Immediately changing the coal was not feasible due to the unavailability of the recommended coal blend and its higher cost.
  • The solution involved using petroleum coke and other cost-effective coal alternatives to meet the requirements, resulting in reduced costs compared to the original coal.
  • Coal shipments were procured, and limestone powder was utilized for desulphurization, which also supported the boiler's technology.


  • Trials were conducted, and the results were miraculous, with the boiler parameters aligning with the design and no signs of deterioration observed.
  • The solution proved successful for many years, ensuring uninterrupted operation and achieving 100% availability.
  • Standard operating procedures were established, and a selection of coal blends was prepared to prevent deviation and avoid similar failures.


  • This case study highlights the importance of deep investigation and an unbiased approach to problem-solving.
  • Solutions can be found even for seemingly impossible problems.
  • Collaboration with the OEM, particularly in cutting-edge technologies, is crucial for success.
  • It emphasizes the need to consider OEM specifications and the limitations of natural products like coal.
  • BiC Promoter's intervention led to the resolution of the CFBC boiler's poor performance, ensuring reliable power generation and steam supply to the chemical plant

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