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.

"For certain alleged foreign matter complaints in our products we need not only the analytical services provided by the lab there at HRL, but particularly the expert opinion of scientists such as Greg Richards to give an independent opinion on the ...

Andrew Penncuick

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NATA accredited AtS/NZS ISO 17025, AS/NZS ISO 17020NATA Accredited Laboratories number 561.

ISO 9001 Quality Management certied by BSI under certicate number FS605116.

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