Development of Real-time Coal Monitoring Instrument
Optimized extraction of heat content from various blends of coal fuel, in combination with a reduction in harmful constituents and byproducts, will be necessary if reliance on coal energy is desired. Therefore, it is important to have a real-time instrument that (1) provides relevant information about toxic constituents released to the atmosphere from burning coal, and (2) can be used to optimize the performance of a power plant. Although a few commercial instruments exist, and have been in operation for more than a decade, most are based on radioactive sources, are bulky and expensive, and take a long time for the recording of measurements. This project will develop an alternative instrument based on Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). The advantage of LIBS is that it is a standoff instrument, does not require sample preparation, and provides precise information about sample constituents. This portable, real-time-analysis instrument will measure the fuel¿s heat content and detect hazardous trace elements such as mercury, sulfur and ash. Automated control systems will be designed to provide the right blend of fuels needed to optimize power plant energy generation. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The instrument should be of use in (1) coal mines to determine customer-specific coal quality and (2) power plants for optimizing energy production and simultaneously reducing hazardous chemicals. Other markets for the technology include geologists during field monitoring, pharmaceutical industries for drug analysis, cement quality control for cement manufacturers, and limestone mine search during drilling operations.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street Watertown, MA 02472
Number of Employees: