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Nondestructive neutron imaging diagnosis of acidic gas reduction catalyst after 400-Hour operation in natural gas furnace...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Chemical Engineering Journal
Publication Date
Page Numbers
140099 to 140099
Part 2

Residential natural gas furnaces are the primary space-heating devices in US homes, leading to substantial environmental impact caused by the acidic components in the furnace combustion gases. To experimentally demonstrate acidic gas reduction in a furnace, a monolithic catalyst was fabricated and was called the AGR. A commercially-available condensing furnace was retrofitted with the AGR, and a 400-hour reliability and durability test was conducted. The results showed that the AGR significantly reduced acidic gases in the flue gas and produced condensate with neutral pH. Challenges were also revealed: inappropriate condensate drainage caused incomplete combustion and amorphous carbon deposits. To nondestructively survey the internal state of the AGR, neutron computed tomography (NCT) was employed to produce spatially resolved 2D and 3D representations of the 2-L, aged AGR component. The NCT results confirm the integrity of the AGR component, which consists of two blocks, without deformation or damage to AGR channels. The distribution of the particle accumulation in the middle of the top block was visibly heavier than the entrance and exit of the top block. The representative cross-section views revealed significant aggregation in the central region but not at the rim. The spatially resolved details provide in-depth diagnosis, evaluation, and understanding of the AGR. The insights can enable new AGR designs that realize a uniform and self-cleaning flow pattern, alleviate significant particle aggregation, and thus enhance AGR-enabled furnace performance. The neutron imaging method demonstrates the good potential that can diagnose faults and improve the design, optimization, and production processes of novel catalysts and other components or systems with heavy metal shell.