The Design of a Small Endothermic Generator for Laboratory Use


The design and performance testing of a small, electrically heated, endothermic generator using propane is described. The generator is used at the undergraduate and graduate level as a teaching tool and for research. Construction of the generator is detailed. Performance comparisons to a mathematical model of a packed bed is reported. A parametric analysis of operating variables (operating temperature, fuel to air mixture, flow rate, catalyst size, and non-reactive alumina topping) was performed and results provided. Results of the analysis indicated that operating temperatures at least 1,950 F, with an air to propane ratio of 7.6:1, and small catalyst without alumina topping provided the best performance. It was found that the alumina topping contributed to a high exit temperature, but caused a premature sooting reaction at the exit end of the retort.

Meeting Name

International Conference on Carburizing and Nitriding with Atmospheres (1995: Dec. 6-8, Cleveland, OH)


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Steels; Carburization; Furnaces; Design; Performance; Propane; Air; Safety; Chemical Reactions; Carbon Monoxide; Carbon Dioxide; Hydrogen; Water; Nitrogen; Chemical Composition; Equilibrium; Mathematical Models; Energy; Catalysts; Laboratory Equipment

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1995 ASM International, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

08 Dec 1995

This document is currently not available here.