Determination of the Content of Sulfur of Coal by the Infrared Absorption Method with High Acccuracy
The present paper reported the differential scanning calorimetry-thermogravimetry curves and the infrared (IR) absorption spectrometry under the temperature program analyzed by the combined simultaneous thermal analysis-IR spectrometer. The gas products of coal were identified by the IR spectrometry. This paper emphasized on the combustion at high temperature-IR absorption method, a convenient and accurate method, which measures the content of sulfur in coal indirectly through the determination of the content of sulfur dioxide in the mixed gas products by IR absorption. It was demonstrated, when the instrument was calibrated by varied pure compounds containing sulfur and certified reference materials (CRMs) for coal, that there was a large deviation in the measured sulfur contents. It indicates that the difference in chemical speciations of sulfur between CRMs and the analyte results in a systematic error. The time-IR absorption curve was utilized to analyze the composition of sulfur at low temperatures and high temperatures and then the sulfur content of coal sample was determined by using a CRM for coal with a close composition of sulfur. Therefore, the systematic error due to the difference in chemical speciations of sulfur between the CRM and analyte was eliminated. On the other hand, in this combustion at high temperature-IR absorption method, the mass of CRM and analyte were adjusted to assure the sulfur mass equal and then the CRM and the analyte were measured alternately. This single-point calibration method reduced the effect of the drift of the IR detector and improved the repeatability of results, compared with the conventional multi-point calibration method using the calibration curves of signal intensity vs sulfur mass. The sulfur content results and their standard deviations of an anthracite coal and a bituminous coal with a low sulfur content determined by this modified method were 0.345% (0.004%) and 0.372% (0.008%), respectively. The uncertainty (U, k=2) of sulfur contents of two coal samples was evaluated to be 0.019% and 0.021%, respectively. Two main modifications, namely the calibration using the coal CRM with a similar composition of low-temperature sulfur and high temperature sulfur, and the single-point calibration alternating CRM and analyte, endow the combustion at high temperature-IR absorption method with an accuracy obviously better than that of the ASTM method. Therefore, this modified method has a well potential in the analysis of sulfur content.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 15, 2014
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