MTI partnered with electric utility company JEA to determine the mechanisms of ash formation and agglomeration in circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers. Learn more in the article“Reducing Ash Agglomeration in JEA’s CFB Boilers,” which appeared in Power Magazine’s October 2012 issue.
In September 1991, MTI went from concept to corporation. Since then, our clients from industry, academia, and government worldwide have challenged us with a plethora of fuel, ash deposits, slag, fly ash, and various other sample materials.
Since 1991, we have characterized more than 6000 samples and completed more than 1300 projects – and we’ve answered some interesting questions along the way, including:
- Is that dust on the oranges fly ash?
- Could I be forming gems in my scrubber?
- Why do I have slagmites and slagtites in my boiler?
- Why won’t my slag flow?
- Can I run the boiler with a furnace exit-gas temperature of 2400°F?
We have rappelled into gasifiers, climbed around in utility-scale boilers, and put sampling probes into boiler and duct work. We have examined materials from plugged cyclones, slagged walls, agglomerated beds, fouled convective passes, plugged air heaters, and plugged SCR catalysts. We have analyzed hung-up ash in hoppers, caked ash on ESP wires and fabric filters, and fine ash associated with opacity issues.
Our fuels analysis has run the gamut – all ranks of coal, a variety of waste materials, fuel oil and petroleum coke, biomass, and more. You sent it; we analyzed it. We have also assessed the potential impacts of firing and gasifying these feedstocks and examined the aftermath.
Over the years, we have refined our understanding of fuel-impurity effects on power-system performance through our forensic approach to fuel characterization. This has led to improved methods to assess potential fuel property impacts on energy conversion and air-pollution control systems. In addition, our research has influenced the design of new power plants.
Recently, we have enhanced our scanning electron microscopy system with an improved computer automation system. We have also added high-temperature equipment to examine ash sintering, ash fusing, slag flow, and slag corrosion.
We sincerely appreciate your support over the past 20 years, and we look forward to working with you in the future.
All our best,
Microbeam Technologies Staff
New High-Temperature Deltech Furnace
With our high-temperature Deltech furnace, MTI offers enhanced capabilities for examining slag-melting behavior and slag-refractory interactions. This system also enables us to assist in the development of synthetic formulations as well as predict refractory corrosion.
To determine the interaction of slag with refractory materials, MTI conducts cup tests at temperatures up to 1700°C in reducing or oxidizing atmospheres. Using SEM techniques, we analyze the cup and slag materials to determine penetration and reaction of slag with refractory materials.
More about our slag refractory testing equipment:
- Temperatures up to 1700°C
- Reducing and oxidizing atmospheres
- Slag refractory reactions
- Refractory corrosion
- Slag properties
- SEM mapping and linescans
New LECO ash-fusion furnace system
MTI has also added a new LECO ash-fusion furnace system to measure ash fusion temperatures and slag flow behavior under controlled atmospheres.
MTI measures four conventional ash-fusion temperatures (AFTs) determined under oxidizing or reducing conditions (ASTM standard D1857). The AFTs include: 1) initial deformation temperature, 2) softening temperature, 3) hemispherical temperature, and 4) fluid temperature.
Viscosity Measurement – T250
Viscosity is the most important physical property for slag and ash deposits, describing a material’s resistance to flow and develop deposit strength.
Viscosity of slags can be measured in either oxidizing or reducing environments using the crucible method illustrated below. T250 is the temperature at a viscosity of 250 poise, at which slag begins to flow (and develop strength). To determine the viscosity of a material, MTI places a sample of ash or slag in a furnace and heats it at a steady rate. We then monitor the test through the stages of melting. Tests are captured on video, and image analysis is used to determine the T250.