Thursday, 24 June 2010

Torrefied Wood Testing and Analysis

Today, our lab officially opened for business. After searching for months to find a facility that could undertake extensive testing on torrefied material (both wood and wood pellets) we decided to establish one ourselves.

To that end, we now have the equipment and ability to prepare, analyse, test virtually any torrefied biomass, in any combination with coal.

An outline of our capabilities are presented below.

Thermo Gravimetric Analysis

· Thermal stability/degradation investigation of organic or inorganic materials, e.g. polymers, composites, glasses, metals, minerals etc.

  • Thermal stability/degradation investigations in inert or oxidative atmospheres, or in vacuum
  • Determination of organic/inorganic content of mixtures
  • Chemical composition measurements (using appropriate reference standards, accurate quantification of sample composition can be determined
  • Phase transition measurement (e.g. glass transition, clustering, crystallinity, melting point)
  • Quantum - size effect investigation for nanomaterials
  • Reaction kinetics with reactive gases (e.g., oxidation, hydrogenation, chlorination, adsorption/desorption)
  • Pyrolysis kinetics (e.g., carbonization, sintering)

· Any type of solid can be analyzed, with minimal sample preparation (e.g. powders, pellets, chunks, flakes etc)

· Minimum sample size ( at least 0.1mg)

· Qualitative or quantitative analysis

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy

· Imaging and elemental composition of small areas

· Identification/mapping of elements present in defects

· Quick, “first look” analysis

· Versatile, inexpensive, and widely available

Scanning Electron Microscopy )Hitachi Tabletop Microscope TM-1000)

  • 20 – 1000 times magnification with 2x-4x digital zoom (up to 40 000 x magnification)

  • Requires no metal coating to observe non conducting samples

  • Maximum sample size 70 mm diameter, 20 mm hight

· Elemental microanalysis and particle characterization

· Rapid, high-resolution imaging

· Quick identification of elements present

· Good depth of field

· Versatile platform that supports many other tools

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

  • Identifying and quantifying volatile organic compounds in mixtures
  • Offgassing studies
  • Testing for residual solvents
  • Liquid or gas injections
  • Evaluating extracts
  • Evaluating contaminants (thermal desorption)

· Identification of organic components by separating complex mixtures

· Quantitative analysis

· Trace-level determination of organic contamination (low to mid-ppb level for liquids and low nanogram level for solids (Dynamic Headspace Analysis)

Differential Scanning Calorimeter

  • Detection of phase transitions
  • Determination of glass transition temperature
  • Observe fusion and crystallisation events
  • Produce phase diagrams for various chemical systems

Ball Mill

· Grindability testing of samples (Torrefied Biomass)

In the coming weeks and months, we will be bringing more equipment online, to provide a full-spectrum of combustion services.

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