Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy machine for online ash analyses in coal

M. Gaft, E. Dvir, H. Modiano, U. Schone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Presently, online coal ash content monitoring is performed by PGNAA (Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analyses) machines. Laser Detect Systems has developed an online mineral analysis system using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). The main advantages of the system are that it is without a radioactive source, compact (1.5 m × 0.8 m × 1.3 m), comparatively light (250 kg) and easy to install. The main disadvantage is that a LIBS system analyzes surface chemistry of the mineral exclusively and not the volume. To prove the LIBS machine analytical ability for coal ash content evaluation, a trial was arranged at Optimum Colliery (South Africa). The LIBS machine was installed in line with a PGNAA machine and laboratory data served as a referee in the final assessment for analytical accuracy. The trial was carried out over a four month period. This paper presents the successful trial results achieved for accurate (at least +/- 0.5% mean absolute error) online coal ash content monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1182
Number of pages6
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ash
  • Coal
  • LIBS
  • On-line analyses


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