• Laborelec-UCL new Drop Tube Furnace

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DTF_photo_open.jpgA Drop Tube Furnace developed collaboratively by Laborelec (GDF SUEZ) and Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) Belgium, to test solid fuels is now listed in the IFRF’s European Facilities database. The freely searchable resource features some 100 combustion and biofuels test rigs from over 30 European industrial and research organizations.

The new rig is owned by Laborelec and was erected in a UCL laboratory during 2012.  The main tube is 6 m-high and features 6 pairs of sampling or visualization ports.  It is electrically heated by 6 modules (15 kW each), and can operate in air or flue gas mode, at atmospheric pressure.

The furnace can be opened for inspection, or to change the main tube.  A ceramic tube (max 1300°C) and a Kanthal APM tube (FeCrAl alloy, max 1100°C) are both available.  The alloy tube offers additional sampling and visualization opportunities.

Flue gases can be injected in the main tube from an auxiliary natural gas burner, with a flow rate controlled by a by-pass valve.  The solid fuel particles are pneumatically injected or dropped from the top of the tube.

The facility has been used for biomass ash deposition experiments in the frame of a PhD thesis and also in several industrial projects.  Air- or water-cooled probes were horizontally inserted in the sampling ports to collect deposits.

The facility was designed to be flexible and offers other test possibilities, on combustion and pyrolysis kinetics, for instance.  The owners are prepared to make the rig available to third parties.  Those interested should contact Laborelec’s Julien Blondeau.

IFRF’s European Test Facilities database has been developed with the financial support of the European FP7 Capacities programme through the BRISK (Biofuels Research Infrastructure) project.

It was opened very recently to the public and is constantly being expanded.  IFRF is committed to promoting co-operation and connection within the global combustion and energy community.  As such, IFRF’s longer term objective will be to expand the resource beyond its European origins and to create an integrated network of combustion facilities worldwide.

Rig owners who wish to discuss participation should contact IFRF’s Neil Fricker.

For further information on the European Facilities database, read a previous MNM article .