Inderscience Publishers

Thermochemical reactor design and thermal breakdown in middle-rank coals

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Experiments conducted at bench scale can throw new light on the operation of pilot and plant scale processes. In the coal gasification/combustion area, such experiments have ranged from determinations of coal reactivities for novel entrained-flow gasifiers, to investigating the fate of injectant coal during blast furnace operation. Meanwhile, the accurate mimicking of conditions within pilot and plant scale equipment requires careful design. This paper attempts an overview of challenges faced in designing experiments where coal thermal breakdown plays an important role. Particular emphasis is placed on characterising the underlying behaviour of the pyrolysing material itself, with as little reference to sample or reactor configuration as possible. [Received: September 11, 2007; Accepted: January 8, 2008]

Keywords: pyrolysis, coal gasification, liquefaction, thermal breakdown, thermochemical reactors, reactor design, combustion

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