The deposition of inorganic materials during the combustion of low-grade fuels creates many obstacles to power production. These problems cost coal-fired electric power industries over one billion dollars annually. This situation is true for industries that use other low-grade fuels (biomass, black liquor, etc.). We have developed an array of diagnostics and analysis techniques that address this issue. Diagnostics for deposition precursors provide information on particle size and velocities and gas composition. Diagnostics for deposits allow properties such as spectral emissivity, thermal conductivity, deposit surface temperature and heat flux, mass rate of growth, volume rate of growth, chemical composition, porosity, and apparent density to be characterized in real time and in situ. These characteristics are analyzed by the following methods and apparatus:
FTIR: Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy- a method used to determine the chemical composition of a substance
pyrometer: a miniature sensor package
probe: The probe lies at the bottom opening of the MFC and collects the ash particles as they fall down from above.
mass balance: a comparison between the initial mass of the fuel and the sum of the masses of the combustion products
gas analysis: continuous monitoring of CO, CO2, NOx, O2, SO2, and total hydrocarbon content
particle characteristics: A laser beam measures the size and velocity of the particles as they collect on the probe