Abstract

Using a spectrograph and charge-coupled device (CCD) camera, ultraviolet and visible light emission spectra were obtained from a coal-burning electric utility's cyclone furnaces operating at either fuel-rich or fuel-lean conditions. The aim of this effort is to identify light emission signals that can be related to a cyclone furnace's operating condition in order to adjust its air/fuel ratio to minimize pollutant production. Emission spectra at the burner and outlet ends of cyclone furnaces were obtained. Spectra from all cyclone burners show emission lines for the trace elements Li, Na, K, and Rb, as well as the molecular species OH and CaOH. The Ca emission line is detected at the burner end of both the fuel-rich and fuel-lean cyclone furnaces but is not detected at the outlet ends of either furnace type. Along with the disappearance of Ca is a concomitant increase in the CaOH signal at the outlet end of both types of furnaces. The OH signal strength is in general stronger when viewing at the burner end rather than the exhaust end of both the fuel-rich and fuel-lean cyclone furnaces, probably due to high, non-equilibrium amounts of OH present inside the furnace. Only one molecular species was detected that could be used as a measure of air/fuel ratio: MgOH. It was detected at the burner end of fuel-rich cyclone furnaces but not detected in fuel-lean cyclone furnaces. More direct markers of air/fuel ratio, such as CO and O<sub>2</sub> emission, were not detected, probably due to the generally weak nature of molecular emission relative to ambient blackbody emission present in the cyclone furnaces, even at ultraviolet wavelengths.

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