Applications of Ashing Furnaces

Understanding the incombustible content of sample materials is a key objective for experts in a range of industries. Ash content can be used as a metric for nutritional evaluation of food goods and is a key parameter in quality control (QC) and compliance for petrochemicals. Yet, calculating these key performance indicators (KPIs) requires unique instrumentation and testing methodologies. Ashing furnaces are a high-performance analytical solution to this problem.

With controlled airflows and high-temperature heating elements, ashing furnaces are widely used to burn samples in air at controlled rates to precisely calculate the volume of incombustible compounds present. This demands careful control of the heating chamber atmosphere using air metering and exhaustion to achieve multiple air-changes per minute.

At Thermcraft, we offer a range of analytical ashing furnaces that are perfect for testing various sample types. Here, we will look at a few applications in more detail.

Food Science Ashing Furnaces

Dry ashing is widely used to approximate the mineral composition of food samples as a preliminary step in further elemental analysis. A sample is placed in the heating chamber of an ashing furnace and heated to temperatures in the region of 600°C (1112°F) in a flow of oxygen. As the sample burns, incombustible minerals are converted to oxides, sulfates, and so on. This enables the approximation of mineral concentration based on dry-weight ash content.

Ashing Hydrocarbons & Plastics

The same principles of ashing food goods apply to certain hydrocarbons and plastics. It is used to quantify the total incombustible content rather than provide a detailed fingerprint of the sample’s organic composition. Ashing furnaces are subsequently essential for quality assurance (QA) and process optimization by offering an accurate insight into the total mass of antiblock, fillers, catalyst residues, and so on as a function of the sample’s dry weight.

Petroleum Ashing Furnaces

One of the core applications of ashing furnaces is in the testing of petroleum-based products and crudes. As these products are intended for combustion downstream, any incombustible content is undesirable. Ash compounds may be harmful to processing equipment or, if exhausted into the atmosphere, may be pollutive.

If you would like to learn more about the Test Methods Used to Determine Ash Produced in Ashing Furnaces for samples like crude oil, coal, and coke, contact a member of the Thermcraft team today.

Ashing Furnaces from Thermcraft

Thermcraft is one of the leading US manufacturers of advanced thermal processing equipment for a range of sample types. Among our catalog of products is a suite of high-temperature ashing furnaces for various industrial uses. If you would like to learn more about our product range for ashing applications, simply contact us today.

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