Efficient Measurement of Coal Calorific Value Using IKA® Technology

Group A is a privately listed and large, combined heat and power company. As a large co-generation company of China, Group A produces comprehensive and large-scale components for manufacturers and enterprises to support the weaving, knitting¸ and dyeing industries.

Group A is also the largest production base for knitwear in the entire province of China. The firm has two branches, the Water Supply Plant and the Thermal Power Plant, which offers the basic power facility services for the entire company’s activities.

Coal is used in the Thermal Power Plant to supply power. At the start of 1998, Group A oversaw a number of technological transformation expansions, which also included the addition of another boiler with the high-power extraction condensing turbo-generator, in an effort to improve the increasing power demand for its different types of equipment. Since then, the Thermal Power Plant has been expanding together with the company.

The challenge and solution

While referring to the national standards GB475 “approaches for commercial coal”, Group A reconstructed a new coal testing laboratory and fitted it with a number of calorimeter systems. This was done to further optimize the quality of coal utilization.

This considerably increased the number of measurements for coal calorific values in such a way that the level of data obtained in one day surpassed anything that had been attained so far. In the following experiments, it was discovered that other competing brands of calorimeters cannot operate in a stable and effective way under these high throughput demands.

In 2005, when IKA® calorimeters were implemented into the process, the problems faced by the coal testing laboratory with respect to the measurement of calorific values of coal samples was eventually resolved.

At present, Group A’s testing laboratory is fully equipped with IKA® calorimeter systems. High reproducibility, excellent quality, remarkable accuracy, and more stability and durability underscore the benefits of these calorimeters, which exactly meet the requirements of the Group A’s testing laboratory.

High repeatable accuracy

For Group A, heat represents the most crucial price determining factor and quality indicator of firing coal. In the coal-fired process, the measurement of the amount of coal consumption, heat balance, and heat efficiency depends on the heat produced by the coal sample itself.

It is a well-known fact that coal purchasing accounts for 70% of the energy costs related to power stations. This emphasizes the importance of accuracy when it comes to determining the calorific value of coal in control analysis and cost evaluation.

In the case of Group A, the accuracy of the calorific value of coal samples plays a significant role, but in addition to this, a greater repeatable accuracy is also equally important to the overall analysis of these samples.

Group A faced problems such as, what should one do when the equipment gives problems throughout the day? When the equipment is too slow? And the data becomes inaccurate when experiments are frequently performed? Group A’s problems were completely resolved by IKA® calorimeter systems.

The chief engineer of the coal testing lab, Ms. Zhou stated the following with respect to IKA® calorimeters: “The calibration for heat capacity is great when making the parallel sample and the testing data is also precisely accurate. IKA® calorimeters exhibited a greater performance when testing standard benzoic acid, calibrating equipment’s heat capacity and testing standard coal together with daily used coal, which has an isoperibol mode and an RSD figure of 0.05%.

Faster

Group A required calorimeters that have the increased measurement of speed to match the pace of its frequently conducted sample assays. So, the question is how to handle so many measurements in just one day? One obvious way would be to buy more calorimeters, but this would not be efficient and may also be expensive. Then, which is the best way to expedite measurements; boost productivity? IKA® calorimeters offer the ultimate solution to all these problems.

To begin with, preparation time is involved when first starting the instrument. It takes 30 minutes for other competing brands, but it takes only 5 minutes for the IKA® calorimeters.

Except for fulfilling the requirements of the standard measurement mode, IKA® has developed built the first dynamic measuerment mode that brought down the measurement time from 22 minutes to a mere 7 minutes.

If the highest number of samples (65 samples) in a day is taken into consideration, as much as 975 minutes were saved. As a result, the overall operating efficiency of the coal testing lab was considerably improved. Needless to say, Group A was extremely satisfied.

Stable

Group A’s coal testing laboratory started using the IKA® calorimeter systems four years ago, and since then, all units continue to be operational. In fact, Ms. Zhou stated, “Of course, IKA® calorimeters are of great use! You don’t need to continually repair the instruments...”

“Great use” is the most consistent comment when it comes to the stability of IKA® calorimeter systems. Dating back to more than a century of history, IKA® maintains its corporate identity of “Quality First”, from its first calorimeter system, the venerable C 100, developed in 1938 to its present portfolio, which includes the C 200 / C 6000 isoperibol / C 6000 global standards, C 1 and C 7000 series of calorimeter systems.

IKA® strives to pursue the best quality and focuses on a high level of instrument reproducibility and stability, which have been a hallmark of all the company’s instruments, including its calorimeters. Thanks to this dedication to instrument quality and stability, IKA® has won the great reputation from many numbers of end users.

More durable

IKA® calorimeters have excellent durability which is seen in the mainframe system as well as in the accessories provided for each calorimeter system. Ms. Zhou states: “The crucible I used before needed to be changed once a month. However, IKA’s crucible offerings have been used from 2006 until now.

The most crucial part of any calorimeter system is the oxygen bomb decomposition vessel. Vessel sealing is so vital that experiments should be frequently performed to make sure that a procure seal can still be achieved. The oxygen bomb decomposition vessels from IKA® reliably ensure that the sealing function works continually and properly, thereby affording a higher level of durability.

IKA® China is conducting free demonstration experiments, which are targeted at providing much better service to customers and showing a supreme self-confidence in its capability to provide customers with durable and high-quality instruments.

Customer benefits

Customers benefit from less worries, more economical, and more efficient IKA® calorimeters when compared to other competing brands. IKA® calorimeter systems provide high speed, precision, and reproducibility, along with the required durability and stability.

These aspects enhance the overall work efficiency and reduce the maintenance costs of Group A. They also reduce the problems of individual operators at the coal testing lab.

With increased co-generation projects at the international level, similar ventures in China will also become more prevalent. As always, IKA® will offer excellent quality, and its “Good Calorimeter” will continue to play a key role in the development of the combined heat and power sector.

Overview

  • Dynamic, measurement time: approximately 7 minutes
  • 5 minutes is more than sufficient for warming up the instrument
  • Relative standard deviation up to 0.05 % RSD (isoperibol)
  • Operating oxygen pressure 30 bar; unique alogen-resistant vessels for quantitative decomposition of halogens and sulfur are available
  • Validation according to GB 213, ASTM 240 D, DIN 51900, BSI, ISO 1928, etc.
  • Enhanced data management capabilities and connection to LIMS via Calorimeter PC Software Calwin C 6040

Note: For commercial confidentiality, the customer’s name in the text is referred to as Group A.

About IKA

IKA laboratory technology offers a wide range of innovative equipment for numerous applications in research and development. Market leaders trust in our proven technology for their mixing, heating, distilling and crushing applications.

IKA has gained a leading position in the world market with its innovative magnetic stirrers, mixers, overhead stirrers, shakers, homogenizers, mills, rotary evaporators, calorimeters, laboratory reactors and specially developed software for laboratory and analysis applications, as well as temperature control products such as circulators, baths and chillers.


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Last updated: Oct 1, 2018 at 5:34 AM

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