The calorific value of a fuel is the amount of heat released by its combustion – under regular state and constant pressure.
Proximate analysis indicates the percentage by weight of the Fixed Carbon, Volatiles, Ash, and Moisture Content in coal. The quantity of volatile combustible matter and fixed carbon directly play a part in the heating of coal. Fixed carbon plays a significant role in heating the coal during burning whereas ignition of fuel is influenced by volatile matter content. The ash content also plays an important role in designing furnace grate, pollution control equipment, ash handling systems of a furnace and combustion volume.
The ultimate analysis indicates the various elemental chemical constituents such as Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sulphur, etc. It helps understand the amount of air necessary for the composition and volume of the combustion gases. This information is needed for the measurement of flue duct design, flame temperature, etc.
Ash content of coal is the non-combustible residue left after coal is burnt. It represents the bulk mineral matter after carbon, oxygen, sulphur and water (from clays) has been driven off during combustion. When the coal is thoroughly burnt, ash material is quantified as a percentage of the original weight and this output is analysed.
The behaviour of coal’s ash residue at high temperature is a critical factor in selecting coals for steam power generation. Most furnaces are designed in a manner that can remove ash residue. Coal ash that converts into a clinker a hard glassy slag, which usually requires cleaning and is unsatisfactory. By removing molten liquid, furnaces can handle the clinker. In a high-temperature furnace, ash fusion temperatures are analysed by viewing a moulded specimen through an observation window.
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