A series of experiments on two different coals at a range of burner conditions have been conducted to investigate the behaviour of pf coal combustion on a 150kW pulverised fuel (pf) coal burner with a simulated eyebrow (a growth of slag in the near burner region). The simulation of a burner eyebrow was achieved by inserting an annulus of refractory material immediately in front of the face of the original burner quarl. Results obtained from monitoring the infrared (IR) radiation and sound emitted by the flame were processed into a number of features which were then used to train and test a self organising map neural network. Results obtained from the neural network demonstrated a classification success, never lower than 99.3%, indicate that it is not only possible to detect the presence of an eyebrow by monitoring the flame, but it is also possible to give an indication as to its size, over a reasonably large range of conditions.

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