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How to measure false air


PR-PYR P06-10 V1



False air is any unwanted air entering the system between two points (see figure below). The exact
amount of false air is difficult to measure. An indicator of false air amount can be the oxygen increase
between two points (usable for gas stream containing less than 21% of oxygen).
point 1

point 2


false air entering


Increase capacity of system (when the fan is pneumatically limited)
Decrease power consumption of the fan (less gas for transport)
Decrease risk for coal mill shop
Increase gas drying efficiency
O2 after pre-heater and in stack
Note that each 1% increase of oxygen means approximately 5% increase of gas volume (also nitrogen
is introduced from air)


Prepare an action plan for reducing false air together with production and maintenance departments
Do measurement on a regular basis and follow-up on progress.

Safety aspects

Measuring of false air is only possible during kiln line in operation.


Never make any measurement alone and without contact to the central control room operators.

Personal Protective Equipment is a requirement with special precaution in high temperature areas in the
lower pre-heater tower.


Constant kiln operation at nominal capacity.


Additional equipment: Sampling probes, coarse dust filter, fine dust filter and silica gel package for

Calibrated portable oxygen analyzer.
Ensure that the pump of the portable gas analyzer is strong enough to extract the gases from the
measurement location:
e.g: after raw mills: ~90 [mbar] / after pre-heater tower ~110 [mbar]

Procedure Template developed by

Be aware this is also valid for flow measurement. ƒ Typical equipment set up: ƒ Water cooled probe: Procedure Template developed by . (Æ take care about calibration) Openings for measuring located with reference to false air critical parts (existing. Never forget to add some spare time for blocked measurement locations.How to measure false air Pyroprocessing ƒ PR-PYR P06-10 V1 2/3 Sampling probes ƒ < 800 [°C]: heat resistant steel pipe (simple) ƒ > 800 [°C]: Water cooled or ceramic probe (simple. Tools ƒ Calculation formula: VFalseAir = VPo int 2 × (%O2 Po int 2 − %O2 Po int 1 ) (% O2 Air − %O2 Po int 1 ) ƒ Requirement: all values must be used on same basis.0% / CO > max. dry or wet. Val) ƒ ƒ Depending on the scope also installed oxygen analyzers can be used. Recommendation is to do it on dry basis. see picture in tools) to avoid oxidation of the carbon in the steel (O2 Æ 0. accessible and open) Time frame ƒ ƒ Depending on measurement scope.

How to measure false air Pyroprocessing PR-PYR P06-10 V1 3/3 Action Steps 1. In sampling probe part of the water is immediately condensing Æ influencing result. combustion) Make sure that your measurement is not distorted by false air entering a measuring opening (tighten free space around a measuring probe) Excel spreadsheet (check-list. the easier it is to find leaks) 3. Make sure the oxygen analyzer is calibrated properly 2. Measure always on dry basis! ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ 6. can be the calculation of the percentage false air Avoiding influences of evaporation effects. At point 2 additional measurement or calculation of volume flow 4. Comparison with installed gas analyzers Æ all are on dry basis. This requires the measurement or estimation of the moisture content of the gases to make the conversion from dry to wet basis. ƒ ƒ Make sure the oxygen analyzer is calibrated properly ƒ Make sure that no chemical reaction influencing O2 content is taking place between point 1 and point 2 (decarbonisation. calculation sheet…) Reporting the false air ƒ Reporting of false air on a wet basis is preferable. Simplified approach ƒ 5. Measure the oxygen content ƒ at the beginning (point 1) and at the end (point 2) of the inspected section (the shorter the section. Procedure Template developed by . Final preparation step: drying with silica gel. Modern gas analyzers measure with electrochemical cells which are sensitive against condensation.