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Comparison of traceable methods for determining the calorific value of non-conventional fuel gases.

Haloua, F*; Foulon, E*; El-Harti, E*; Sarge, S M*; Rauch, J*; Neagu, M*; Brown, A S; Tuma, D* (2016) Comparison of traceable methods for determining the calorific value of non-conventional fuel gases. Int. J. Therm. Sci., 100. pp. 438-447.

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Energy-content measurements by direct methods (such as calorimetry) are used to validate the indirect method (from gas composition obtained by gas chromatography) which is generally adopted by grid operators for on-site gas control. A primary reference gas calorimeter and three field calorimeters were used for the first time to measure accurately the energy content of non-conventional gases (biogas and coal mine methane). The gas mixtures for this study were prepared by gravimetry and comprised three binary mixtures containing carbon dioxide and (up to 80 mol-%) methane, three ternary mixtures containing carbon dioxide, (up to 70 mol-%) methane and (up to 0.3 mol-%) hydrogen sulphide as well as a ten-component mixture with a methane content of approximately 64 mol-% which represents a typical coal mine methane. Associated uncertainty calculations were developed for each instrument and are presented here. Traceability of the measurements to the SI units is ensured in reference calorimetry, as calibration is accomplished by electrical simulation based on the Joule effect in order to obtain the heat capacity of the entire system. The results obtained with the four calorimeters are compared with each other and also with results calculated from the indirect method that is based on gas chromatography. Uncertainties (k = 2) between 0.07 and 0.49% for the reference gases were obtained with the reference calorimeter, while uncertainties for the field calorimeters range between 0.18 and 2.48% for the same mixtures. Compared to the usual standard deviation observed by gas chromatography for a multicomponent gas mixture of about 1%, it is demonstrated that the calorimetric method, although rarely used for non-conventional gases before, is appropriate for energy-content measurements of gases originating from renewable energy sources.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Gas calorimetry, Calorific value, Non-conventional gases, Thermophysical properties, Metrological investigation, Uncertainty
Subjects: Analytical Science
Analytical Science > Gas Standards
Identification number/DOI: 10.1016/j.ijthermsci.2015.10.020
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:13
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/6945

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