GPT - Thermo-Chemical Processes Group Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón. Universidad de Zaragoza
Reactivity Installation
The installation which is described here enables to study the reactivity of the carbonaceous material at atmospheric pressure at temperature up to 1500 K and flow rates up to 1000 (STP) mL/min with different reactant gases like: oxygen, nitrogen monoxide, water vapor and a mixture of them.
The experimental set-up consists of a gas feeding system, a reaction system and a gas cleaning and analyzing system, which has been used with success.

Tech. Spec.

Gas feeding system
Gases are fed and dosed through mass flow controllers. The reacting gas is made up of either oxygen or nitrogen monoxide or water vapor or a mix of them and the gas used to complete the balance to reach a total flow rate of 1000 mL/min (STP) is nitrogen.
Reaction system
The amount of soot weighed is around 10 mg per batch. Considering the tiny size of carbonaceous particles, the soot is mixed with silica sand particles in a carbonaceous material/sand ratio of 1/30 (wt.) in order to facilitate the introduction of the sample into the reactor, to prevent particle agglomeration and to be able to consider single particle conditions. The mixture is deposited over the plug, resulting in a thin layer. The sample is then heated up from room temperature to the reaction temperature at 10 K per minute in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen. The temperature of the bed is measured by a thermocouple located just under the quartz wool plug. Once the desired temperature is reached, a fraction of the nitrogen is replaced by the reactant gases which are fed into the reactor. When the water vapor is added as a reactant, its injection is effectuated by means of an HPLC pump followed by a heated line at 393 K thermally insulated up to the reactor to ensure that the water gets into the reactor in the vapor phase.
Gas cleaning and analyzing system
The product gases, mainly CO, CO2, NO and H2, are cooled down to room temperature with air, passed through a water condenser and a particulate matter filter and finally measured using a continuous infrared (IR) gas analyzer for CO/CO2 and another one for NO, and a micro gas chromatograph (micro-GC) for H2. The particulate matter filter is used to prevent possible leakage during the experiments. The filter is checked after each experiment and no fouling has been ever found.

Research projects

  • Optimización de estrategias de recirculación de flujo de gas en procesos de combustión para la minimización de emisiones contaminantes. (Ref. GA-LC031/2009), Gobierno de Aragón-Fundación La Caixa. Duración: 2010-1012.
  • Oxidación de compuestos orgánicos oxigenados usados como aditivos al gasóleo. Estudio sobre la emisión de contaminantes. (Ref. CTQ2009-12205/PPQ), Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Duración 2010-2012.


  • Arnal C, Alzueta MU, Millera A, Bilbao R. (2012) Influence of water vapor addition on soot oxidation at high temperature. Energy, doi: 10.1016/
  • Mendiara T, Alzueta MU, Millera A, Bilbao R. (2008) Influence of the NO concentration and the presence of oxygen in the acetylene soot reaction with NO. Energy and Fuels 22:284-290.
  • Ruiz MP, Callejas, M.A., Millera A., Alzueta MU, Bilbao R. (2007) Reactivity towards O2 and NO of the soot formed from ethylene pyrolysis at different temperatures. International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering 5: A50.
  • Guerrero A, Ruiz MP, Alzueta MU, Bilbao R, Millera A. (2005) Pyrolysis of eucalyptus at different heating rates: studies of char characterization and oxidative reactivity. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 74:307-314.
European Comission Brisk
The Thermochemical Processes Group (GPT) is partly funded by the EU's European Social Fund and by the Gobierno de Aragón (Aragonese government)
EU's European Social Fund Gobierno de Aragón