Calorific value (Gross/net)
The calorific value of a fuel is the quantity of heat produced by its combustion – at constant pressure and under “normal” conditions.
Proximate analysis – Moisture, Volatile matter, Ash and Fixed Carbon
Proximate analysis indicates the percentage by weight of the Fixed Carbon, Volatiles, Ash, and Moisture Content in coal. The amounts of fixed carbon and volatile combustible matter directly contribute to the heating value of coal. Fixed carbon acts as a main heat generator during burning. High volatile matter content indicates easy ignition of fuel. The ash content is important in the design of the furnace grate, combustion volume, pollution control equipment and ash handling systems of a furnace.
The ultimate analysis indicates the various elemental chemical constituents such as Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sulphur, etc. It is useful in determining the quantity of air required for combustion and the volume and composition of the combustion gases. This information is required for the calculation of flame temperature and the flue duct design etc.
Ash content of coal is the non-combustible residue left after coal is burnt. It represents the bulk mineral matter after carbon, oxygen, sulfur and water (including from clays) has been driven off during combustion. Analysis is fairly straightforward, with the coal thoroughly burnt and the ash material expressed as a percentage of the original weight.
Ash Fusion Temperature
The behavior of the coal’s ash residue at high temperature is a critical factor in selecting coals for steam power generation. Most furnaces are designed to remove ash as a powdery residue. Coal which has ash that fuses into a hard glassy slag known as clinker is usually unsatisfactory in furnaces as it requires cleaning. However, furnaces can be designed to handle the clinker, generally by removing it as a molten liquid. Ash fusion temperatures are determined by viewing a moulded specimen of the coal ash through an observation window in a high-temperature furnace.