HITECOMHigh Temperature Optical Conversion Measurement

Fossil fuels are still a major source of energy in our industrial society. Although the search for renewable energies has become increasingly more important, the efficient conversion of fossil fuels to energy remains one of the main challenges in current research. The optimization of these processes applies to the emission of greenhouse gases (CO2) as well as to toxic species such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), produced by diesel engines. Yet, a thorough understanding of the conversion processes is a prerequisite for their optimization. As they usually take place under high pressure and high temperature conditions, experimental investigations are a challenging task.
HITECOM ("High Temperature Optical Conversion Measurement") should address this issue. The joint project between the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Saxony) is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research in the framework of the Centers for Innovation Competence ("ZIK"). The aim of the project is to achieve a better understanding of coal gasification as key application for an energy conversion process. This process takes place at temperatures up to 1400 °C and pressures up to 40 bars. For these extreme ambient conditions, only a few experimental techniques are well-established. One of them is the "thermogravimetric analysis" (TGA), which measures the weight of the coal particle during the conversion process. Hence, conclusions are limited to the mass of coal particle only.
HTECOM should develop an in-situ experiment with which gas temperatures and concentrations during the conversion process can be measured. For this purpose, a high temperature and high pressure reactor with optical access is being built at the TU Freiberg, while optical measurement techniques are being developed at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. These techniques include thermal imaging of the coal particle and gas analysis by means of laser induced fluorescence (LIF) and spontaneous Raman scattering (SRS). Furthermore, coherent Anti-Stokes Raman scattering using femtosecond (fs) laser pulses ("fs-CARS") will be developed further to allow high temperature and high pressure measurements at the HITECOM reactor.

Thermal imaging of a test particle inside of the HITECOM reactor.

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