Coal ash deposits were collected in a 160 kWth, down-fired oxy-coal reactor under staged and unstaged conditions for four different coals (PRB, Gatling, Illinois #6, and Mahoning). Concentration measurements of carbon, oxygen, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, potassium, calcium, titanium, chromium, manganese, iron, nickel, strontium, and barium were gathered from each deposit sample using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). Backscattered electron micrographs for each deposit sample were analyzed to gather morphological data. Particle size and shape were studied for each deposit collected. The average particle sizes of the particles in upstream deposits were much larger than the average particle sizes of the downstream deposits. The downstream deposits consisted primarily of spherical particles while the upstream deposits consisted of round, irregular polygonal, and porous particles. Deposit particles are believed to have deposited at all stages of burnout; those depositing early during pyrolysis may have continued to react after deposition. Element maps for the aforementioned elements were collected with SEM-EDS and analyzed to quantify both average composition and composition of individual particles. These values were compared to ASTM ash analyses performed for each coal and ash collected from the flue gas stream with a cyclonic particle separator. It was found that sulfur concentrations of deposits do not correlate with corresponding sulfur concentrations of the coal. Comparison of similar experiments performed with air-combustion show that oxy-combustion deposits contain about twice as much sulfur as air-combustion deposits when burning the same coal. Deposition propensity of each coal was also examined, and the PRB and Gatling coals were found to have a moderately high deposition propensity whereas the deposition propensity of the Mahoning and Illinois #6 coals was fairly low.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





coal, ash, EDS, SEM, BFR, deposition, ultra-supercritical, oxy-combustion, oxy-fuel, flue gas recirculation, FGR, RFG