Fuel/air control of industrial fiber matrix burners using optical emission

M. F. Zabielski, James Freihaut, C. J. Egolf

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The optical emission from natural gas flames on industrial, fiber matrix burners was studied as a function of fuel/air ratio within specified spectral bands extending from the infrared to the visible. The emissivity of the fiber matrix burner material was determined as a function of wavelength in the infrared using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry. The measurements were performed ex-situ on pelletized fiber material and in-situ using burner surface emission during normal operation. A description of the emissivity apparatus and the method of data reduction is provided. The emissivities determined from both the ex-situ and in-situ measurements were in good agreement and varied from ε = 0.6-0.8 in the spectral range 400 to 4000 cm-1. The in-situ measurements also included an investigation of emission as a function of operation time of the burner, wherein the emission of the surface is compared at eight-hour intervals to the emission after the first eight hours of operation. These results are compared with literature values for this type of material and similar materials. Optical emission data, obtained in the spectral region range 8000 to 26300 cm-1, were correlated with fuel/air ratio and stack gas species concentration measurements. From these data, two fuel/air control programs were developed for use on an industrial, 8086 personal computer. Both control programs are based on the correlation between the intensity of the optical emission from the fiber surface and the carbon monoxide concentration in the exhaust products at given fuel/air ratios. One control routine employs a feed-forward, 'lookup' table algorithm. The second routine uses a continuously active, feedback algorithm. The operating setpoints of both algorithms can be adjusted to values located on either the rich or lean side of the CO onset in the stack gas. Data showing the performance of both control schemes are provided. Typically, control to 1.5-3.0% of the setpoint is achieved. Application of the methods to multiple burner control is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
EventProceedings of the 14th Annual Energy-Sources Technology Conference and Exhibition - Houston, TX, USA
Duration: Jan 20 1991Jan 23 1991


OtherProceedings of the 14th Annual Energy-Sources Technology Conference and Exhibition
CityHouston, TX, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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