Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Harold Knickle

Abstract

This study will examine the practicality of using composite solid-liquid fuel technology and it they can by improved through emulsification. The practicality of this technology was determined based on whether a composite fuel could be modeled that had acceptable combustion properties. These properties were determined through experimentation, literature analysis and modeling. Experiments determining settling velocity were conducted on coal-soybean oil and wood-soybean oil composite mixtures. Settling velocities were determined varying mass concentrations, temperatures and average solid particulate size. Then 20% mass concentration of water was added to the same mixtures and the experiments were repeated. It was found that lower temperatures, smaller average particle sizes and emulsifying all aided in slowing settling velocity, with emulsification being the largest factor. Next, documented viscosity experiments involving composite fuels found in literature were examined. Factors affecting viscosity were noted and viscosity modeling equations were determined. It was found that that the greater the solid amount and the less the liquid amount in a given composite mixture, the smaller the viscosity. Also water was found to lower viscosity if the liquid fuel it was emulsified had a much higher viscosity and raise viscosity if the fuel was similar in viscosity. Composite combustion modeling found that composite fuels, whether emulsified or not, would provide similar combustion properties, such as combustion time and heat of combustion compared to popular liquid and solid fuels used today.

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