AbstractThe thermogravimetry (TG) of typical biomass briquettes used as fuel in southern China was analysed to investigate the influences of fuel grain size and heating rate on combustion. The results suggested that grain size and heating rate exerted little influence on combustion. In accordance with the data and the TG results obtained from the fuel, a biomass grate incinerator process was numerically simulated using fluid dynamics-based incinerator code (FLIC) software to obtain the solid phase temperature distribution of the fuel along the bed length, the spatial temperature distribution of flue gas, and the underlying variation laws of the primary components. A comparison of the mass-loss curves from the numerical simulation to the TG analysis demonstrated that the two curves exhibited consistently staged variations, including dehydration and drying, fast pyrolysis and combustion of volatiles, and the burnout of residual carbon. The specific characteristics of the fuel obtained from these tests improved the accuracy of the numerical simulation, while the variations in temperature and components obtained were conducive to optimising the combustion process of a biomass incinerator.