Universities | Applications | DDS Calorimeters

Simple, we at Digital Data Systems (DDS) have been making calorimeters for the last 40 years. We have a wealth of technical knowledge and calorimeter experience second to none. We are continuously improving our systems with the latest technology as it becomes available, allowing the students to work on a cost effective, easy to use, easy to maintain, commercially applicable instrument that is going to be in the market for another 40 years. Universities believe in investing in the future and we at DDS believe in investing in universities for the future.

The objective of using an oxygen bomb calorimeter in a university is to teach students about :

  • Thermodynamics
  • Calorific Value Measuring
  • Combustible Energy
  • Heat of Combustion
  • Calorimetric Constant

The CAL3K Calorimeter range of products is well suited for university and higher learning institutions. The CAL3K calorimeter has multiple operating modes, so it can be Isothermal or Adiabatic or Dynamic type of oxygen calorimeter. An ability to change between modes in one calorimeter enables the students to assess the different Calorimetry standards and how they possibly influence the result.

The CAL3K Calorimeter is extremely safe to operate, giving the students piece of mind, allowing them to concentrate on their experiments. The bomb vessel has a bayonet locking mechanism which extends the life of the bomb vessel compared to the CAL2K Bomb Vessel, reducing maintenance/running costs. The bomb vessel is also smaller and lighter in weight, facilitating less operator fatigue for ladies and with the bayonet lid design, easier to open and close.

The new waterless air cooler for the CAL3K Calorimeter is another reason why these calorimeters are suited for university laboratories. No water is required at all in the operation of the CAL3K system. No water means no leaks and no extra plumbing, making it easier to install and move around if required. Don't be fooled, the cooling speed of the waterless air cooler is under 6 minutes, as quick, if not quicker, than the water cooler of the CAL2K Calorimeter System.

Regardless if the oxygen calorimeter is in Isothermal or in Adiabatic mode, the ambient temperature and bomb vessel firing temperature are managed by the Ambient Temperature Controller (ATC) unit, providing thermal insulation to the bomb. The true magic of the ATC is in it's design. The ATC is made of lightweight material, allowing the ATC to rapidly respond to the rising bomb temperature when it is fired.

For university laboratories that require two or three quick results in a row, the CAL3K oxygen calorimeter is your answer. It is the only oxygen bomb calorimeter of its kind that does not need the bomb vessels to be at room (ambient) temperature. The calorimeter is able to fire a bomb vessel two or three times (depending on the ambient temperature) in a row without cooling the bomb vessel in between. This basically means, with a single bomb vessel you are able to fire three samples in under 14 minutes. Great for a lecture.

A CAL3K calorimeter is a sensible and very accurate (0.00001C) temperature measuring device, ideally suited for universities and their students. For this reason most of DDS oxygen calorimeters have a non-destructive data output for post analysis calculations and spread sheet analysis. The bayonet bomb vessel and ambient data are available every 6 seconds together with calibration data and other relevant information. The data provided by the CAL3K calorimeter is intended for the student to solve their experiment and to perform their own calculations.

Known University Applications

Calorimeters are primarily used in the following university departments:

  • Animal Science
  • Poultry Science
  • Dairy Science
  • Faculty of Agriculture
  • Biology Faculty
  • Zoology Faculty
  • Chemistry Faculty
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Food Chemistry
  • Laboratory for Food Safety and Quality Control
  • Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Technology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Food Nutrition and Digestion Research
  • School of Environmental Engineering

The CAL3K oxygen bomb calorimeter can also be used for the following applications:


Combustion heat release, Heat transfer, Measuring heat, Heat loss, Temperature equilibrium, Heat conduction


  • Renewable energy resources, Traditional energy sources
  • Ethanol, Waste, Plastics, Animal feed and products


  • Combustion energy of our surroundings: Wall Paint, Car seats, Ceilings, Clothing
  • Composite material research


  • Improving animal husbandry, more energy for the buck, Alternative energy, Oils
  • Energy absorption or conversion


Food: An alternative method of assuring consistency of consumed substances


The CAL3K lends itself to being used for university experiments because of the machine's ability to change operating modes. There are equal amounts of experiments out on the Internet that require either Isothermal or Adiabatic type oxygen bomb calorimeters. Instead of purchasing one isothermal bomb calorimeter and one adiabatic calorimeter, one CAL3K will do the job of both. The CAL3K is Isothermal, The CAL3K is Adiabatic.

Tech Lab : Experiment 31-ME

Source : http://www.chem.uw.edu.pl/people/AMyslinski/nowy/zarzadzanie/31ME_th_inst.pdf

Purpose: “The purpose of this experiment is to determine heat of combustion and total calorific value of solid and liquid organic compounds (including fuels and biofuels). During the experiment, students will carry out a series of measurements in order to do:

  • calibration of the calorimeter (determination of calorimetric constant, K),
  • determination of the heat of combustion of biofuel,
  • determination of the heat of combustion of other organic substance,
  • titration of combustion products – to calculate corrections for heats of combustion.

As a result, students will be able to use the calorimeter apparatus (calorimetric bomb), they will calculate the heat of combustion and calorific value of organic materials as well as they will be able to compare the calorific values of fossil fuels with biofuels (biodiesel, FAME). After the experiment the students gain the ability to perform qualitative and quantitative description of the fuels and biofuels and ability to present resulting data and to critically assess the quality and applicability of (bio)fuels.”

Introductory Laboratory Energy Science and Technology

Source : http://www.uni-ulm.de/~hhoster/pc_lecture/Calorimetry_1.pdf

“The heat of combustion of Naphthalene shall be determined by means of a bomb calorimeter. The temperature increase, which is a result of combustion of Naphthalene in an Oxygen atmosphere, reveals information about the released heat. The heat of combustion is calculated using basic thermodynamic equations. Experimentally gained values for heat of combustion shall be compared with enthalpy of reaction taken into account theoretical values of enthalpies of formation.”

Heat of Combustion of Oils, April 30, 1998, Group R4

Source : http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~belab/LabProjects/1998/BE210S98R4R01.htm

To determine a relationship between heat of combustion and degree of saturation, olive oil (regular and extra virgin), canola oil, and soybean oil were combusted using a non-adiabatic Parr bomb calorimeter. The heat of combustion was expected to increase with the degree of saturation. According to the level of saturation, olive oil was expected to have the greatest heat of combustion, followed by canola oil, and then soybean oil. The experimental data showed that the differences among heats of combustion of the oils were insignificant. The observed average heats of combustion of olive oil are 39.31 + 0.709 kJ/g (regular) and 40.98 + 0.145 kJ/g (extra virgin). The average heats of combustion for canola oil and soybean oil are 41.45 + 0.471 kJ/g and 40.81 + 0.325 kJ/g, respectively. Though the standard deviation for each set of trials is below 2% of the heat of combustion, the ranges of each set overlap one another. Nevertheless, the experimental data are within the standard deviation of other data obtained using similar equipment and procedure. The insignificance of the data can be explained by the small variance in the heats of combustion of the constituent fatty acids. Since the deviation of the heats of combustion of the fatty acids is only 0.6% while the deviation in the experimental results is 0.9%, no significant difference should be expected from our data. The differences in the heats of combustion of the oils due to saturation are too small to detect using the resources available. A final point of analysis concerns the nutritional labels used by the FDA. Our data was 13.2% lower than the caloric value on nutritional labels. This is most likely explained by the FDA’s cessation to use bomb calorimetry and instead approximation the caloric content of the food from the ingredients.

Determination of the Enthalpy of Combustion of Sucrose Using Bomb Calorimetry

Source : http://www.csuci.edu/writing-ci/guide/samples/documents/chem-lab-sample.pdf

The heat of combustion of sucrose (C12H22O11) was experimentally determined by adiabatic bomb calorimetry. The calorimeter constant Cvcal = 8.78 kJ/_C was determined via the combustion of standard benzoic acid (C7H6O2), DU = -26.41 kJ/g. Once the calorimeter had been calibrated, the change in internal energy of sucrose was determined to be -6.97 _ 0.03 kJ. Using the change in internal energy, the heat of combustion of sucrose DcH = -4599 _ 257.9 kJ/mol was estimated by substitution of the ideal gas law, DH = DU + R_Td_Dngas. The calculated heat of combustion was compared to an accepted literature value DcH_ solid = -5643.4 _ 1.8 kJ/mol resulting in an error of 18.50%.

Combustion Calorimetry

Source : http://www.unomaha.edu/tiskochem/Chem3354/Bomb_calorimetry.pdf

In this experiment ΔCHO will be determined and use to calculate ΔfHO for your chosen compound. ΔCH will be obtained using an adiabatic, constant volume calorimeter (bomb calorimeter) (Figure 1).

BOMB CALORIMETRY, Purpose of Bomb Calorimetry

Source : http://www.chem.hope.edu/~polik/Chem345-2000/bombcalorimetry.htm

Bomb calorimetry is used to determine the enthalpy of combustion, ΔcombH, for hydrocarbons: CxHYOz(s) + (2X+Y/2-Z)/2 O2 (g) → X CO2(g) + Y H2O (l)

UC Berkeley College of Chemistry, Chemistry 125, Physical Chemistry Laboratory, Bomb Calorimetry and Heat of Combustion

Source : https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~jmlvll/lab-reports/calorimetry/calorimetry.pdf

In this experiment we used a oxygen bomb calorimeter to accurately determine the heat of combustion of a sample of sugar. By carefully controlling the pressure, heat and contents of our bomb, and by using a sample of benzoic acid with known values to calibrate, we were able to calculate a value for _cH_ sucrose of 􀀀1108000 _ 2000 cal mol , reasonably close to the literature value of -1156000 cal mol [1]. Mathematically, a majority of our uncertainty can be traced back to the calculation of a relatively small Co from a larger Ctotal, maintaining the absolute error but greatly increasing the relative error. Most of the original error can be traced back to uncertainty in the quality of the _ts of the fore- and afterdrift, as the original masses of sample and length of fuse wire both contribute only minimally to the _nal error. Nevertheless, we received a fairly accurate measurement with good precision (especially considering how rudimentary our experimental setup is compared to one you might _nd at NIST), validating this experiment.