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.

Technically capable / competent in a number of areas, successfully used on a number of projects.  Technical consulting.", 

David Webster

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