Published in Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume 63, Issue 3, January 1, 1992, pages 2073-2083.
Copyright © 1992 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Review of Scientific Instruments and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1143169.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author John Chen was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Our radiant two‐phase flow reactor presents several new possibilities for high‐temperature reactivity studies. Most importantly, the thermal histories of the suspension and entrainment gas can be independently regulated over wide ranges. At low suspension loadings, outlet temperatures can differ by hundreds of degrees and gas temperatures are low enough to inhibit hydrocarbon cracking chemistry, so primary products are quenched as soon as they are expelled. With coal suspensions, tars were generated with the highest H/C ratio and lowest proton aromaticity ever reported. Alternatively, particles and gas can be heated at similar rates to promote secondary chemistry by increasing particle loading. Simply by regulating the furnace temperature, arbitrary extents of conversion of coal tar into soot were observed for fixed total mass loss. Under both circumstances heat fluxes are comparable to those in large furnaces, so relevant heating rates and reaction times are accessible. Suspensions remain optically thin even for the highest loadings of technological interest because they are only 1 cm wide. Consequently, the macroscopic behavior remains firmly connected to single‐particle phenomena. Mass and elemental closures are rarely breached by more than 5% in individual runs, so interpretations are not subject to inordinate scatter in the data. The reactor is also well suited for combustion studies, as demonstrated by extents of carbon and nitrogen burnout from 50% to 100% for various gas‐stream oxygen levels.