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Fuel Analysis Laboratory

Fuel Analysis
The FAL is an integrated and fully equipped laboratory providing research support for many EERC research programs. In addition to performing proximate and ultimate analyses, the FAL provides a wide variety of testing: helium air pycnometry, surface area determination, laser particle sizing, dry and wet sieve analysis, and ash fusion. The lab analyzes coal samples from various state universities and institutions to determine the quality of the coal used in the boilers.

The lab performs analyses according to ASTM International standards on the following materials:

  • Petroleum products, lubricants, and fossil fuels
  • Gaseous fuels, coal, and coke
  • Soil, rock, and building stones
  • Wood
  • Biomass

Coal Analysis Laboratory

The Coal Analysis Laboratory (CAL) is an integrated and fully equipped laboratory set up primarily for proximate, ultimate, and calorific value analyses of fossil fuels and biomass. It also has additional testing capabilities for process by-products and other sample types.

  • Petroleum products
  • Coal and coal by-products
  • Soil, rock, and building stones
  • Biomass

The CAL is equipped with the following instrumentation and equipment:

  • Leco TGA-701 analyzer – This instrument uses thermogravimetric analysis to determine moisture, volatile matter, and ash content. Fixed carbon is calculated by difference to report a full proximate analysis.
  • Elementar Vario Cube CHN analyzer – Carbon–hydrogen–nitrogen (CHN) is part of the ultimate analysis. Carbon and hydrogen values are used to determine the amount of oxygen required in combustion processes and calculations of efficiency of combustion processes. Nitrogen values can be used to evaluate the potential formation of nitrogen oxides as a source of atmospheric pollution.
  • Leco Tru-Spec sulfur add-on – Sulfur is determined by high-temperature combustion and infrared absorption detection. The sulfur content is part of the ultimate analysis.
  • Leco AC-350 isoperibol calorimeter – The gross calorific value or heating value is used to classify coals and other fuels. It is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of beneficiation processes for research.
  • Micromeritics Flowsorb surface area analyzer – The surface area of granulated and powdered solids or porous materials is measured by determining the quantity of gas that adsorbs as a single layer of molecules on the sample.
  • Micromeritics helium air pycnometer – The multivolume pycnometer determines the skeletal density by measuring the reduction of gas volume in the sample chamber caused by the presence of the sample.
  • Malvern 2600 particle-size analyzer – The sample is illuminated by the light from a low-power visible wavelength laser. The particles scatter some of the light at angles characteristic of their size, forming a series of diffraction patterns that are focused onto the detector. Size range is 0.5 to 564 μm.
  • Fusibility of coal and coke – Ash fusibility temperatures help predict the behavior of ash in coal combustion and coal conversion systems. The laboratory analyzes samples in both reducing and oxidizing atmospheres.
  • Facilities for sample preparation, sieving, and grinding.


Laboratory Capabilities

The lab is equipped to perform numerous functions, such as elemental analysis (CHNOS) and physical characterization of fine particulates. The lab is equipped with instrumentation and equipment designed for the analysis and testing of coal and coal by-products:

  • Leco TGA-701 analyzer – Thermogravimetric analysis includes moisture, volatile matter, and ash analysis. The volatile matter value is used to determine the coal rank.
  • Leco TruSpec CHN analyzer – Carbon and hydrogen values are used to determine the amount of oxygen required in combustion processes and calculations of efficiency of combustion processes. Nitrogen values can be used to evaluate the potential formation of nitrogen oxides as a source of atmospheric pollution.
  • Leco TruSpec sulfur analyzer – The sulfur analysis determines the total sulfur percentage of major elements in coal ash.
  • Leco AC-350 isoperibol calorimeter – The heating value is used to classify coal samples. It is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of beneficiation processes for research.
  • Micromeritics Flowsorb surface area analyzer – The surface area of granulated and powdered solids or porous materials is measured by determining the quantity of gas that adsorbs as a single layer of molecules on the sample.
  • Micromeritics helium air pycnometer – The multivolume pycnometer determines the skeletal density by measuring the reduction of gas volume in the sample chamber caused by the presence of the research sample.
  • Malvern 2600 particle-size analyzer – The sample is illuminated by the light from a low-power visible wavelength laser. The particles scatter some of the light at angles characteristic of their size, forming a series of diffraction patterns that are focused onto the detector and interfaced with the computer (size range is 0.5–564 µm).
  • Fusibility of coal and coke ash furnace – Ash fusibility temperatures predict whether the ash will perform properly in the process for which the coal was chosen.
  • Facilities for sieving, grinding, and sample preparation – The lab has a variety of coal and research sample preparation equipment. Physical tests are also performed, including wet and dry sieve analysis and bulk density.