A laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technique has been applied to detect the unburned carbon in fly ash, and an automated LIBS unit has been developed and applied in a 1000MW pulverized coal fired power plant for real-time measurement of unburned carbon in fly ash. Good agreement was shown between measurement results from the LIBS method and those from the conventional method(JIS 8815), with a standard deviation of 0.27%. This result confirms that measured unburned carbon in fly ash using LIBS is accurate enough for the boiler control and boiler control in optimized way is possible using the value of unburned carbon content in fly ash.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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