Asee peer logo

Pc Based Measurement Of The Heat Of Combustion Of A Solid Fuel Using Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Computer-Assisted Lab Studies

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1148.1 - 12.1148.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Ramesh Prasad University of New Brunswick-St. John

visit author page

Ramesh C. Prasad, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB, Canada has been associated with Engineering education in India and Canada during the last several decades. He obtained B.Sc.Eng.(ME) from Bhagalpur University, India, M.Tech.(ME) from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, M.Sc.E. and Ph.D. from the University of New brunswick, Canada. His primary teaching and research interests are in the area of thermophysical properties of fluids and heat transfer enhancement.

visit author page


Ryan Munro University of New Brunswick-St. John

visit author page

Ryan C. Munro graduated with BScE (Mechanical) degree in 2005 from the Universitry of New Brunswick, Canada. He worked in energy sector for over a year and is planning to pursue graduate studies in future.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

PC-Based Measurement of Heat of Combustion of a Solid Fuel Using Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter


The paper describes an experimental system developed for measurement of the heat of combustion of a sample of solid fuel. The system is set up to use an Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter together with a temperature sensor. A data acquisition system is used to accurately record temperature versus time response before, during and after the combustion of the fuel sample. The data acquisition system includes an analog to digital converter (IOtech Personal DAQ 3005 with USB connection) a standard software package (DASYLab) to obtain the measurement under program control to determine the observed temperature rise of the system following combustion of a carefully weighed sample of solid fuel. The data processing includes several corrections to the measured temperature rise in order to determine the heating value of the fuel. The oxygen bomb calorimeter can be operated as an adiabatic system to eliminate the heat gain/loss during the experiment. However, the experiment is carried out in a non-adiabatic system to allow a greater insight in this experiment and to enhance its pedagogical value. This experimental system has been developed for an undergraduate laboratory in thermodynamics for Mechanical/Chemical Engineering students.


The heat of combustion1 of a fuel is the amount of heat generated by the complete combustion of a unit weight of fuel and it is expressed in Joules/kg (or other similar units such as BTU/Ib or calories/gram). It is experimentally determined by combustion of an accurately weighed sample of fuel in a calorimeter and measurement of the heat released. In this experimental system, an Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter2 has been used. The temperature rise, T, resulting from the heat released by combustion of the fuel sample is determined from the temperature ~ time response of the calorimeter. A suitable procedure is followed to determine T which accounts for non- adiabatic condition of the calorimeter. Several other corrections are also applied for an accurate determination the heat of combustion of the fuel sample. This paper describes the software and hardware systems used for PC-based data acquisition/processing systems to collect temperature ~ time data and determine the heat of combustion of the fuel sample.


The gross heat of combustion, Hg, of the fuel sample is determined from the energy balance relation that the heat released by the fuel sample within the Oxygen Bomb is equal to the heat absorbed in the calorimeter. Combustion of the fuel sample results in a temperature rise of the bucket containing a measured amount of water in which the Oxygen Bomb is completely submerged. The energy balance relation is expressed by the following equation2,3:

mf Hg = W ( T) – e1 – e2 – e3 (1)

Prasad, R., & Munro, R. (2007, June), Pc Based Measurement Of The Heat Of Combustion Of A Solid Fuel Using Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2980

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015