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Ultimate Analysis of Fuel Sample to Improve Efficiency and Emissions in the Power Industry William Smeltzer, [email protected] , October 9, 2016 Abstract The ultimate analysis of a fuel is a valuable measure in determining the 7 characteristics of a fuel; carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, ash, oxygen, and moisture. The analysis can be converted into dry basis, dry ash free basis, and mineral matter free basis. The data from ultimate analysis is used with the heating value of coal to perform crucial combustion calculations including the determination of coal feed rates, combustion air requirements, weight of products to determine fan sizes, boiler performance and sulfur emissions. In a society where everyone wants to go green but not give up their electronic devices, the ultimate analysis is key in doing this by improving the current infrastructure to obtain the highest energy value while emitting the least amount of emissions from the available fuel. Introduction Every piece of coal is made up of similar things but no two pieces are identically alike, but rather having slight differences. The process of ultimate analysis provides a convenient and uniform system for comparing coals 1 . Ultimate analysis is the quantitative measurement of various elements present in the coal sample, such as sulfur, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen by difference. 2 This analysis is imperative in performing combustion calculations, calculations for coal feed rates, combustion air requirements, weight of products of combustion to determine fan sizes, and sulfur emissions. 2 The calculation of SOx and NOx from combustion is required by all coal fired power plants since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. 3 The Amendment was enacted by the concerns of acid rain affecting areas downwind of power plants emitting these compounds. 3 From the calculated sulfur/nitrogen content of the ultimate analysis, necessary cleaning procedures can be determined to either prewash or the installation of scrubbers in flue gas stacks or possibly both. Since 1990 emissions of SO 2 and NO x from the power sector has declined to their lowest level but this was not due to a decrease in coal usage considering coal generation set record highs in 2007, it was due to burning lower sulfur coal found through ultimate analysis calculations. 3 With a forecasted 40% increase in global energy demand as well as stricter emission regulations, knowing a fuel composition to utilize it to the highest efficiency will become paramount. 3 The objective of this study was to calculate the ultimate analysis of an unidentified coal sample. For this study, a Leco True Spec CHN was utilized to calculate the elemental composition of the coal sample, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. These values were then used to find the dry, dry ash free, and mineral matter free basis so they can be uniformly compared to other coals.
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