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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number DTI/CC/231
Title Development of Nitrogen Stable Isotope Ratio Measurements to Apportion Fuel and Thermal NOx in Coal Combustion
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 20%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Coal, Coal combustion) 80%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor C (Colin ) Snape
No email address given
Chemical and Environmental Engineering
University of Nottingham
Award Type 3
Funding Source DTI
Start Date 01 March 2001
End Date 01 February 2003
Duration 23 months
Total Grant Value £110,000
Industrial Sectors
Region East Midlands
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor C (Colin ) Snape , Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Nottingham (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , E.ON UK (formerly PowerGen) (0.001%)
Project Contact , Babcock International Group plc (0.001%)
Project Contact , Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (0.001%)
Web Site

The main aim of the project was to develop a nitrogen-stable isotope measurement technique for NOx and to ascertain whether it can be used to determine the relative contributions of fuel and thermal NOx during coal combustion. The specific objectives were to:

  • To design suitable substrates for adsorbing NOx in flue gases.
  • To establish the isotopic values for fuel and thermally-derived NOx with samples from test rigs.
  • To apply the experimental approach to larger facilities and to assess the data obtained for improving existing combustion models.

Suitable substrates for adsorbing sufficiently high concentrations of NOx from flue gas streams to facilitate the reliable measurement of the nitrogen stable isotope ratios were developed, the substrates encompassing both manganese oxide supported on zirconia (MnOy-ZrO2) and iron supported on active carbon (Fe/AC).

Nitrogen stable isotope measurements were conducted on a number of thermal/prompt (diesel) and actual (coal) PF NO samples collected fromthe 1 MW test facility at Powergen and fuel NOx samples from the fluidised-bed (FB) combustor at the Caledonian paper mill in Ayrshire, together with measurements on a range of pyrolysis and combustion chars obtained from a drop-tube reactor. The nitrogen stable isotope ratios ( 15N) of the thermal/prompt NO samples analysed occur across a relatively narrow range with a mean below 0 (the value for atmospheric nitrogen), although reliable backgroundcorrect ions could not be applied at this stage.

Publications DTI (2003) Nitrogen Isotope Ratio Measurements Apportioning Of Fuel And Thermal Nox: Project Summary 308. DTI Cleaner Coal Technology Programme, DTI/Pub URN 04/1027, DTI, UK (PDF 783 KB)
Final Report Snape, CE (2004). Development of Stable Isotopic Ratio Measurement - Apportioning of Fuel and Thermal NOx. Report No. COAL R243 DTI/Pub URN 04/702, DTI, UK (PDF 136 KB)
Added to Database 01/01/07