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The Bio-Energy area is dedicated to research that converts biomass and related sustainable feedstock into value-added gases, liquids or solids.


Main Equipment

Regenerative activated carbon rig

The apparatus consists of stainless steel column (21.5mm I/D, 290mm length) with the glass wool and filter paper placed to avoid the slippage and proper packing of activated carbon samples inside the bed. Nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gas mixtures were used and volume flow meters (FLDN3505, Omega Engineering Limited) were mounted to calculate the gas flow rates. Nitrogen used as carrier gas whereas the carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide used for adsorption /desorption analysis. Mass-spectrometer (Hiden Analytical Ltd.) was used to measure the mass of gases. Nitrogen and carbon dioxide supplies from the laboratory where a special gas cylinder was procured with 99% nitrogen mixed with 1% hydrogen sulphide. Since hydrogen sulphide is not recommended to be used in TGA, activated carbon rig was installed for the adsorption and desorption analyses of hydrogen sulphide. Besides, the breakthrough capacities can be calculated with the help of experimental rig. For the adsorption, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gases at standard temperature and pressure flow through a stainless steel pipe connection, this is further assembled with the flow meters of the respective gases. These gases were mixed at next joint to vent in the mass-spectrometer. Similarly, nitrogen gas was used for desorption cycles. Valves V-1 and V-2 were installed before and after rig gas measurements. Mass-spectrometer is further attached with the mass software, where these gases quantities can be observed.



Mass Spectrometer (MS) (The HPR-20)

The HPR-20 system and indeed most other systems from Hiden contain the following parts:

  • MSIU - The MSIU or RC Controller Unit is the main communication from PC to Gauge Head. The communication to PC is via RS232, LAN (Local Area Network) or USB.  It also controls the voltages applied to the Gauge Head via the RF Head.
  • RF Head - The RF Head supplies the Gauge Head with RF (Radio Frequency) and DC for the Mass Filter, which is used to ‘filter out’ the Ions of interest.  Each Ion has a distinct DC and RF voltage, which enables it to pass through the Mass Filter, all other Ions are discarded.
  • Gauge Head -The Gauge Head, situated inside the Vacuum housing is comprised of the Mass Filter, Ion Source, Filaments and detector(s).
  • Capillary - The Capillary is a heated inlet which contains an inert silica coated glass liner available in 2 lengths 2m and 0.9m to suit the application, and is also available with different flow rates; Standard, Medium, Low and Very Low Flow depending on application and preference. The Capillary requires to be connected to ‘T’ at the sample end with a minimum pressure of 1atm.
  • Bypass Valve - The Bypass Valve permits control over flow rate into the Mass Spectrometer, should more or less signal be required.  Approx. 99% of the sample is pumped away through the Bypass Pump, approx. 1% being admitted into the system.
  • CPS - The Capillary Power Supply supplies the power to heat the capillary, this is a factory set temperature, adjustment is possible.
  • Penning Gauge - The Penning Gauge is the Total Pressure Gauge, which is gas dependent. If a bulk gas is used to transfer sample down the capillary you can change the gas being measured to the bulk gas via the Edwards TIC Unit. The Total Pressure measurement is displayed on the Edwards TIC, and can, in some cases can be ported into MASsoft.
  • Edwards TIC - The Edwards TIC or Turbo Instrument Controller controls the vacuum pumps and the Penning Gauge. It also has the facility to control the External Trip on the MSIU controller for added protection to the Vacuum Gauge Head.

If you are interested to know about this laboratory or a specific equipment, please contact Dr. John Andresen or Dr. Sean Higgins.


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