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Lecture2CharacterisationofFuels

Fuelisasourceofenergy.Industrialgrowth,amongotherfactors,islargelydependentonconsumption
of energy. Large amount of energy requirement can only be met by fossil fuel reserves, though
renewablesourceofenergycandecreasetosomeextentthedependenceonfossilfuel.Optimizationof
energy consumption is necessary. Characterization of fuel is important to search ways and means to
optimisetheenergyconsumption.

2.1 FuelClassification:
Type
Solid

Liquid

Natural/Primary
Wood,
Peat,
Lignite,
BituminousCoal,
AnthraciteCoal.
Petroleum

Gas

NaturalGas

Secondary
Charcoal,
Coke

Oil,
Tar
Alcoholsetc.
ProducerGas
WaterGas
BlastFurnaceGas
CokeOvenGas

2.2 WhatismeantbyFuelCharacterization?
Fuelcharacterizationconcernswiththeanalysisandenergycontentoffuel(alsoknownascalorific
value).Fuelanalysiscomprisesofproximateandultimate.

(A)Proximateanalysis:
Intheproximateanalysis,moisture(M),Ash(A)andvolatilematter(VM)aredetermined.Fixedcarbon
(FC)isobtainedfromthefollowingequation:
FC=
(1)

100

(%M

%A

%VM)

There are standard tests to determine proximate analysis. Moisture is determined by drying 1gm of
sampleat105oCfor1hr.Weightlossisexpressedin%ofinitialweightofsample;i.e.

%M

(weight

loss/weight

of

sample)

100

(2)

Ashisweightofresidueobtainedaftercompletecombustionof1gofcoalat700750oC.Ashin%is

%A=(weightofresidue/weightofsample)100

(3)

Volatilematteristheweightlossobtainedonheating1gmsampleofcoalat950oCfor7minutesinthe
absenceofair.

Totalweightlossofamoistcoal=WeightlossduetoVolatilematter+Moisture
WeightlossduetoVM=Totalweightlossmoisture

IfcoalsampleisdrythenweightlossisduetoVMonly.

%VM=(weightlossduetoVM/weightofsample)100.

(5)

Fixedcarboncanbecalculatedbyeq.1.

(B)UltimateAnalysis
The main chemical elements in coal (apart from associated mineral matter) are C, O, H, N and S. The
chemicalanalysisisveryimportanttocalculatematerialbalanceaccuratelyandcalorificvalueofcoal.
FortheultimateanalysisC,H,SandNaredeterminedbychemicalanalysisandexpressedonamoisture
freebasis.Ashisdeterminedasinproximateanalysisandiscalculatedonmoisturefreebasis.Then,
%O=100 (%C+%H+%N+%S+%ash)

(C)NoteonAshandVolatileMatter

(6)

Infactcoalcontainsmineralmatter(MM)likeCaCO3,MgCO3,SiO2,Al2O3,Na2CO3etc.butnotash.Ashis
residueobtainedaftercompletecombustionofcoalandconsistsofCaO,MgO,SiO2,Al2O3etc.Ashand
mineralmatterarenotidentical.
Ashcontentofcoalisimportant.Inhightemperatureapplicationswherecoalistheprinciplesourceof
chemicalandthermalenergy,removalofashisanimportantissue.Ingeneralashcontentofcoalshould
below.Inaddition, meltingpointofashisalsoimportant.Infurnaceswhere coalisusedtoheat the
material below its melting point, melting point of ash should preferably be higher than the furnace
temperaturebecauseofeasydisposal
Whereasinapplicationswherecoaliscarbonizedandthecarbonizedproductisusedtoderivethermal
andchemicalenergyforexampleinblastfurnaceironmaking,bothamountofashanditsmeltingpoint
isofconsiderableimportance.Inthiscaseashshouldbeeasilyfusibleanditsmelting pointshouldbe
lowerthanfurnacetemperature.Largeramountofashwillincreasetheamountofslag.
Totalmineralmatter(MM)canbecalculatedbyParrformula1)

MM=1.08A+0.55%S

(7)

WhilecalculatingFConmineralmatterbasis,Parrsubtracts0.15%Sfrommeasuredfixedcarbon.

VolatileMatter
Itconsistsofvolatilesubstancesformedduringheatingofcoaloutofcontactofair.Essentiallytheseare
gaseoussubstanceslikeCO,H2,H2O,CO2,CH4,N2,,O2andotherhydrocarbons.Volatilematterdoesnot
include moisture of coal but includes water formed during reaction between hydrogen and oxygen of
coal

2.3Howtoreportanalysis?
Thedifferentwaystoreportanalysisofcoalcanbeillustratedbyanexample.Considersubbituminous
coal.

(A) ProximateAnalysis

Asreceived

DryBasis*

Dryashfree**

Dry
mineral
matterfree***

%M
%A
%VM
%FC
%S
Total

6.8
12.3
36.2
44.2
0.5
100.0

13.2
38.84
47.42
0.54
100.0

44.7
54.7
0.6
100.0

44.6
55.4

100.0

*Analysisondrybasis={%Aor%VM/(100%M)}100
%FCondrybasis=100(%M+%A)
**Analysisondryashfreebasis(daf)={%VM/{100(%M+%A)}100
%FCondafbasis=100%VM
***DrymineralmatterfreeFC=(FC0.15%S)/{100(%M+1.08A+0.55%S)}
DrymineralmatterfreeVM=100DrymineralmatterfreeFC

(B)UltimateAnalysis:
Compn(%)
C
H
O
N
S
A
M
Total

Asreceived
(Moistbasis)
69.8
4.6
8.5
1.4
2.5
8.7
4.5
100

Asreceived*
(Moistbasis)
69.8
5.1
12.5
1.4
2.5
8.7

100

Drybasis*
73.1
4.8
8.9
1.5
2.6
9.1

100

*%H(Moist)=(%H+2/18%M) and %O(Moist)=(%O+16/18%M)


**%ondrybasis=(100%element)/(100%M)

2.4FuelOil:

FueloilconsistsofelementssuchasC,H,O,NandS.ItiseasytohandleandstoreandpossessesCV
(CalorificValue)greaterthanotherfuels.Itisobtainedfromcrudepetroleumanditsultimateanalysis
doesnotvarymuch(C8388%,H1013%,O1%andS1%).
Fueloilisbroughtandsoldonavolumebasis.ThespecificgravityisdeterminedindegreesAPIwitha
speciallymarkedhydrometer.Theunitisdefinedasfollows1):
o

API={141.5/(sp.gr.60o/60oF)}131.5

(8)

ForFueloil:oAPI=10oto50oAPI

NCVvariesfrom9000to10000Kcal/kg

2.5GaseousFuels:
Naturalgasisafossilfuel.Allgaseousfuelshave
Combustible
CO
H2
Hydrocarbon(CH4,C6H6,C2H4etc.)

Incombustible
N2
CO2
H2O

Advantages:
1

Easytohandle

Ashless

GoodCombustion

CVofgaseousfuelcanbecalculatedfromtheheatofformationvalues.

2.6CalorificValue(hereafterCV):
Calorific value (CV) is the amount of heat released on complete combustion of 1 kg of coal at the
referencestateofproductsofcombustion(POChereafter).
ForahydrocarbonfuelcontainingC,HandS,productsofcompletecombustionareCO2,H2OandSO2.
ReferencestateofPOCis
25oC CO2(g),SO2(g)andH2O(l)=GrossCalorificValue(GCV)
100oC CO2(g),SO2(g)andH2O(v)=NetCalorificValue(NCV)


SoGCV>NCVbyanamountequaltolatentheatofcondensation.

CVcanbeexpressedascal/g,kcal/kg,kJ/kg,Btu/lborcal/gmol,kcal/kgmol,kJ/kgmol,Btu/lbmol

Someconversionfactors:
1cu.ft.=0.02832m3; 1kcal=3.968Btu=4186Joules=0.00116kWh
1kWh=1.34hPh=3.6108J=860kcal=3412.14Btu
1hPh=0.746kWh
Atomicweightsofsomeelements: H=1,O=16,S=32,N=14
Dryair= 79%N2+21%O2(vol%) and 77%O2+23%N2(wt%)

(A) DeterminationofCVofSolidFuel
CV can be determined experimentally or from theoretical considerations. In laboratory Bomb
calorimeter is used where 1 g coal is combusted at constant volume and rise in temperature is
noted1,2).
Theoretically, CV of coal can be determined from the heat of formation of products of complete
combustionat298Kand1atm.pressure.
Intermsof%ofelements:
GCV=81%C+341(%H%O/8)+22%S kcal/kgor

(9)

GCV=339%C+1427(%H%O/8)+92%S kJ/kg

(10)

(11)

NCV=GCVHeatofvaporizationofwater

NCV=GCV5.84(9%H+%M) kcal/kg

NCV=GCV24.44(9%H+%M) kJ/kg

(12)

Equations9to12areDulongsformula

Assumptions:
1

Heatofformationofcoaliszero.

CoalcontainsHandO.Therefore,availableHforcombustionwithgaseousoxygen=(%H
%O/8).

CVofcoalissumofCVofheatofformationofcompletecombustionproducts.

Heatofvaporizationofwaterat100oC=542kcal/kg(975Btu/lb);whereasat25oCitis584
kcal/kg(1050Btu/lb).

(B)DeterminationofCVofGaseousFuel
In determination of gaseous fuel, combustible components are : CO, H2, Hydrocarbons, NH3 etc.,
whereasO2,CO2,N2arediluents.

Heatsofformationofsomeoxidesare1):
Oxides
CO
CO
CO2
CO2

Hof(1atm,298K) inkcal/kgmol
29.6103(CAmorphous)
26.4103
97.2103 (CAmorphous)
94.05103

H2O(l)
H2O(v)
SO2(g)
SO3(g)

68.32103
57.80103
70.96103
94.45103

Heatsofformationofsomehydrocarbonsare1):
Hydrocarbons
CH4
C2H2
C2H4
C2H6
C3H8

Hof(1atm,298K) inkcal/kgmol
17.89103
54.19103
12.5103
20.24103
24.82103

Tonote
1kgmol=22.4m3(1atm,0oC)
1kgmol=24.45m3(1atm,25oC)

Consideranexampleofgaseousfuelofthefollowingcomposition:

CH4=4%

C2H6=3%

C3H8=0.5%

N2andCO2=Rest

LetuscalculateCVofthisfuel

In1kgmoleofgaseousfuel:

Kgmoles

CH4 =

0.94

C2H6= 0.03

C3H8= 0.005

Heatofcombustionofmethane

CH4(g)+2O2(g) = CO2(g)+2H2O(v)

CH4
(14)

(g)

2O2

(g)

(13)

CO2

(g)

2H2O

(l)

Heatofcombustion=(Heatofformationofproducts)(Heatofformationofreactants)
Bysubstitutingthevaluesofheatsoformation,oneobtains heatofcombustionequals194.91
103kcal/kgmolforeq.13and215.95103kcal/kgmolforeq.14respectively.

Similarly,combustionequationsforC2H6andC3H8canbewrittenandheatofcombustionvaluecan
becalculated.
HeatofcombustionofC2H6=350.56103kcal/kgmolandofC3H8is498.18103 kcal/kgmol
whenreferencestateofPOCisvapour.Thusnetcalorificvalueofnaturalgasis
|NCV|=0.94194.91103+0.03350.56103+0.005498.18103
=196.22103kcal/kgmolofnaturalgas

=8.76103kcal/m3(1atmand273K)

References:
1)R.Schuhmann:MetallurgicalEngineering,Vol.1EngineeringPrinciples
2)O.P.Gupta:elementsoffuels,furnacesandRefractories,KhannaPublishers
Keywords:Proximateanalysis,Ultimateanalysis,Materialsbalance,fueloil,coal,naturalgas.