Thermal Methods and Equipment
HRL has a range of thermal capability from laboratory through to pilot-scale. A listing of relevant test methods and bench / pilot scale equipment is outlined below. HRL is able to adapt the methods and equipment to meet specific client needs.
Bench and Pilot-Scale Equipment
- High Temperature and Pressure autoclaves
- Used to investigate process such as direct liquefaction (coal to liquids), supercritical water extraction, hydrothermal dewatering processes and thermal desorption.
- Small-scale physical (steam) activation rig for activation carbon production from a given feedstock (e.g. coal)
- Small-scale thermal desorption rig, typically used for evaluating treatment of contaminated soils or materials
- 3kg/hr pyrolysis retort including tar collection, gas clean-up and gas analysis
- Bench-scale fixed bed reactor for investigating process such as pyrolysis or gasification
- Range of laboratory furnaces including sand bath, muffle furnaces (small and large), tube furnaces
- Multi-hearth dryer (~250kg per hour)
- Gas analysis equipment (analysers, GC, impinger methods) for measuring gas composition for given processes (e.g. combustion, gasification, self-heating, etc)
- Range of auxiliary equipment such as mills, screens, mixers, conveyors, etc.
- In-house ability to construct and operate bench and pilot-scale rigs for specific applications.
Thermal Test Methods
Thermogravimetric Analysis and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (TGA-DSC) allows changes in sample mass and heat flow to be measured simultaneously as a function of temperature, heating rate and gas atmosphere.
- Can be used to investigate drying, pyrolysis, combustion / oxidation, decomposition, determine heat capacity
High Pressure Thermogravimetric Analysis (HP-TGA)
- Similar methodology to TGA-DSC although allows testing of larger samples (e.g. 1g) and operation under pressure
- Additional applications include char gasification reactivity, investigating gas-solids reactions, reaction kinetics, evaluation of gas sorbents
Hot Stage Microscope
- Thermo-optical technique that allows physical changes (decomposition, melting events, etc) to be visually observed as a function of temperature
Thermal conductivity by the thermal probe method
- For measuring the thermal conductivity of lump solids at ambient or elevated temperature
Dangerous Goods Testing
- 4.1 Flammability, 4.2 Self-heating, 4.3 Gas evolution from water contact
High temperature materials testing e.g. creep, rupture, tensile strength
The thermal testing is supported by HRL's extensive analytical laboratory.