Particulate and Gaseous Emissions

CRF scientists use Sandia’s multifuel combustor (MFC, Figure 1) to characterize and quantify the particulate and gaseous emissions produced during combustion of solid fuels. This facility allows us to perform experiments under well-controlled conditions while simulating important characteristics of commercial-scale power generation boilers.

The combustor consists of a 4.2 m long, 15 cm diameter silicon carbide reactor tube divided into seven independently heated sections. The MFC has been used to study the combustion of a variety of solid, liquid, or gaseous fuels, including pulverized coal, biomass, fuel oil, natural gas, and many others. A variety of extractive and in situ diagnostic tools are available for gas and particle analysis at several positions along the reactor tube as well as at the reactor exit.










Figure 1. Photograph (left) and schematic (right) of Sandia’s multifuel combustor for investigating particulate and gaseous pollutant formation of solid fuels such as coal and biomass.

Recent research in the MFC has focused on char-NOx formation and reburn (Figure 2), NOx formation during oxy-fuel combustion of pulverized coal, and ultrafine particulate matter formation during cofiring of coal and biomass (Figure 3).

Figure 2. Important reaction pathways for conversion of fuel-bound nitrogen to N2 or NO, deduced by comparing experimental data from the MFC with detailed chemical kinetic modeling.


Figure 3. Scanning mobility particle sizer data on fine particle formation during cofiring of coal with switchgrass in the MFC.

Contact: Chris Shaddix, (925) 294-3840,