wbs5037_prox.docx - Proximate Analyses of Fuel Samples to...

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Proximate Analyses of Fuel Samples to Determine Composition of Sample and Usefulness as a Fuel William Smeltzer, [email protected] , September 27, 2016 Abstract The proximate analysis of a fuel is a valuable measure in determining the four characteristics of the fuel; moisture, volatile matter, ash content, and fixed carbon. From knowledge of these values, proper safety precautions in safety handling, transportation, and emission regulations can be adhered to when utilizing these fuels. A Leco TGA701 Thermogravimetric Analyzer was utilized to determine the proximate analyses of the fuel samples. The samples varied from fixed carbon content of 10.34% which was Algae all the way up to 89.86% which was coal 6L. The algae sample was unable to be ranked without knowing heating value but coal 6L was determined to be semi-anthracite. Determining the proximate analyses of fuel samples is important in the safety of transporting fuels as well as combustion where high ash values can destroy equipment. Introduction Predicting how a coal will behave when handled and burned can be determined by the proximate analysis characteristics. 1 The proximate analysis is a measurement used widely to check analysis of bulk fuel deliveries from known sources and for daily works control. 1 Proximate Analysis is the measurement of four characteristics of a carbon sample; fixed carbon, moisture, ash content, and volatile matter. 2 The amount of fixed carbon and volatile matter in a coal directly contribute the heating value of the coal. Proximate analysis is used for health and safety planning in transportation of coal, optimizing plant operations, and adhering to emission regulations. 2 Fuel with high volatile matter content has an increased risk of spontaneously combusting. 2 The ash content of a coal is important in the design of a furnace grate, combustion volume, pollution control, and ash handling systems in a furnace. 1 Coals having a higher gross calorific value of 14,000 btu/lb can be ranked further by calculating the mineral matter free basis. 3 This further categorizes coals based on the gradational properties that depend principally on the degree of metamorphism to which the coal was subjected to while buried. 3 “These categories indicate ranges of physical and chemical characteristics that are useful in making broad estimates of the behavior of coal in mining, preparation and use”. 3 The objective of this study was to calculate the proximate analysis characteristics of a coal sample. The values of moisture, volatile matter, fixed carbon, and ash content were than used to calculate the coal sample on a dry mineral matter free basis. From knowing the dry mineral matter free basis, the coal was able to be ranked. For this study, A Thermogravimetric Analyzer was utilized to calculate the proximate analysis characteristics of multiple fuel samples and used to compare their rankings.
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