An Image Processing System for Char Combustion Reactivity Characterisation

Deisy Chaves, Emanuele Trucco, Juan Barraza, Maria P. Trujillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
119 Downloads (Pure)


Coal is the most used fuel source to generate electricity by pulverised coal combustion. During this process, volatile compounds are liberated giving rise to the formation of a variety of char particles. Char particles morphology can be classified into groups reflecting different coal reactivity levels which may be used to evaluate the effect of coal on the performance of burner. Char particles morphological classification may be automatically done with benefits in terms of speed, consistency and accuracy. However, the classification performance relies on correct identification of char particles. Moreover, broken walls, created during char generation process, blurriness and low contrast are factors that make the classification task a challenging problem. In this paper, we propose a system for particle detection and particle classification into two reactive groups. Initially, a set of candidate regions, that may contain particles, is selected by combining regions and edges. Then, regions containing particles are detected using texture features and a Support Vector Machine classifier. The particle classification is done based on the International Commission for Coal Petrology criteria. Experiments using coals from two Colombian regions —Valle and Antioquia— showed that the proposed system, in most cases, correctly detect char particles. Regarding the classification of detected particles, analysed char samples were automatically classified similarly as manual classification did. Consequently, the system is found to be a successful first approach for char combustion reactivity characterisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Industry
Early online date3 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Candidate regions
  • Char coal morphology
  • Image processing
  • Machine learning
  • Particle classification
  • Particle detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An Image Processing System for Char Combustion Reactivity Characterisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this