Determining Volatile Matter and Ash in Biomass/Plant Tissue

Volatile matter, ash, and moisture are important components used for the quality characterization of fuel materials. Volatile matter, a key component of solid fuels, is used to measure the combustion characteristics.

The ash determination is a simple method used to measure ash yields for the fuel and other calculations that involve material balance and disposal activities for ash handling and fuel utilization, respectively. Moisture, as determined by the TGA701 instrument, is used to assess the analytical results of the fuel on a dry basis.

Sample Preparation

During sample preparation all samples have to be uniformly consistent to generate appropriate results. In general, all samples have to be ground to a <0.5 mm fineness.

Accessories

The available accessories include 529-048 Ceramic Covers, 621-331 Ceramic Crucibles, and 611-844 Spoon.

   
Sample Mass ~1.0 g
Analysis Time ~4.5 hours

 

Method

Method General Parameters

Crucible Type Ceramic
Crucible Density 3.00
Cover Density 3.00
Sample Type Biomass
Sample Density 1.50

 

System

Significant Digits F6
Barometric Pressure 760
Cover Open Half 800
Cover Open Full 450
Furnace Over Temperature 1200
Increment Sample Names Disable
Crucible Locations Auto Find
Temperature Check False
Alarm on Errors True
Cover Option Half Open
Carousel Option Weigh Position
Batch Mode False
Enable Lid Dispenser False

 

Balance

Readability 4
Balance Environment Stable
Balance Constancy Absolute Weight (g)
Minimum Weight 0.8 g
Maximum Weight 1.2 g
Zero Deviation 0.0005
Retake Initial Weights False

 

Method Step Parameters

Parameter Moisture Volatile Ash
Covers No Yes No
Start Temp. °C 25 107 600
End Temp. °C 107 950 750
Ramp Rate 6 50 3
Ramp Time (h:m) 0:13 0:16 0:50
Hold Time (h:m) 0:15 0:07 0:00
Total Time (h:m) 0:28 0:23 0:50
Max Time (h:m) 0:00 0:00 0:00
Atmosphere Nitrogen Nitrogen Oxygen
Flow Rate High High Low
Window 3 0 3
Comparator 0.0005 g* 100.0000 g 0.0005 g*
Final Weight At Constancy At End of Step At Constancy

*Balance constancy set for Absolute Weight (grams)

Method Equation Parameters

Moisture: (([Initial Mass]-[Moisture Mass])/[Initial Mass])*100
Volatile: (([Moisture Mass]-[Volatile Mass])/[Initial Mass])*100
Ash: ([Ash Mass]/[Initial Mass])*100
Volatile Dry: [Volatile]*(100/(100-[Moisture]))
Ash Dry: [Ash]*(100/(100-[Moisture]))

 

Procedure

  1. Following the procedure described in the TGA701 Instruction Manual, create and/or choose a procedure with the parameters explained above
  2. Login and load samples following the method described in the TGA701 Instruction Manual.

Typical Results

Sample Mass(g) % Moisture % Volatile Matter Dry % Ash Dry
Biomass 1.0093 5.44 83.4 0.48
Wood Pulp #1 1.0115 5.38 83.5 0.47
  1.0081 5.39 83.3 0.46
  1.0197 5.39 83.1 0.49
  1.0108 5.37 83.4 0.48
  Avg. = 5.39v 83.3 0.47
  s = 0.03 0.14 0.01
Biomass 1.0308 3.32 83.3 0.34
Wood Pulp #2 1.0151 3.35 83.5 0.35
  1.0366 3.31 82.8 0.36
  1.0389 3.32 83.2 0.34
  1.0475 3.32 83.5 0.38
  Avg. = 3.32 83.3 0.36
  s = 0.01 0.28 0.02
Plant Tissue 1.0072 6.04 76.5 8.69
Alfalfa 1.0371 6.13 76.7 8.75
  1.0170 6.04 76.9 8.63
  1.0368 6.06 76.8 8.72
  1.0027 6.21 76.5 8.77
  Avg. = 6.09 76.7 8.71
  s = 0.07 0.16 0.05
Plant Tissue 1.0052 9.17 79.3 2.13
Barley 1.0104 9.22 79.2 2.28
  1.0051 9.12 79.3 2.27
  1.0028 9.14 79.9 2.25
  1.0057 9.17 79.2 2.59
  Avg. = 9.17 79.4 2.30
  s = 0.04 0.31 0.17

Note: LECO recommends a calibration of y= 1x + 0 to be used for volatile matter determination in biomass.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by LECO Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit LECO Corporation.

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