Calorimeter is used to determine the heat released or heat absorbed in during a mechanical, electrical, or chemical reaction, and for calculating the heat capacity of materials. Calorimeter is the device used for calorimetry, the science of measuring the heat of chemical reactions or physical changes as well as heat capacity. Differential scanning calorimeters, isothermal microcalorimeters, titration calorimeters and accelerated rate calorimeters are among the most common types of calorimeter.


Calorimetry is used to determine the heat released or heat absorbed in a chemical reaction. Calorimetry is the science of measuring the heat of chemical reactions or physical changes. Calorimetry is performed with a calorimeter. Indirect calorimetry calculates heat that living organisms produce from their production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen waste (frequently ammonia in aquatic organisms, or urea in terrestrial ones), OR from their consumption of oxygen. Of course, heat generated by living organisms may also be measured by direct calorimetry, in which the entire organism is placed inside the calorimeter for the measurement.

Types of Calorimeter Designs

  • Adiabatic Calorimeters – An adiabatic calorimeter is a calorimeter used to examine a runaway reaction. Since the calorimeter runs in an adiabatic environment, any heat generated by the material sample under test causes the sample to increase in temperature, thus fuelling the reaction. No adiabatic calorimeter is truly adiabatic – some heat will be lost by the sample to the sample holder.
  • Reaction Calorimeters – A reaction calorimeter is a calorimeter in which a chemical reaction is initiated within a closed insulated container. Reaction heats are measured and the total heat is obtained by integrating heatflow versus time.
  • Bomb Calorimeters – A bomb calorimeter is a type of constant-volume calorimeter used in measuring the heat of combustion of a particular reaction. Bomb calorimeters have to withstand the large pressure within the calorimeter as the reaction is being measured.
  • Calvet-type Calorimeters – The detection is based on a three-dimensional fluxmeter sensor. The fluxmeter element consists of a ring of several thermocouples in series. The corresponding thermopile of high thermal conductivity surrounds the experimental space within the calorimetric block. The radial arrangement of the thermopiles guarantees an almost complete integration of the heat. This is verified by the calculation of the efficiency ratio that indicates that an average value of 94 % +/- 1 % of heat is transmitted through the sensor on the full range of temperature of the Calvet-type calorimeter.
  • Constant Pressure Calorimeters – A constant-pressure calorimeter measures the change in enthalpy of a reaction occurring in solution during which the atmospheric pressure remains constant.
  • Differential Scanning Calorimeters – A differential scanning calorimeter is a device which allows thermal data to be obtained on small amounts of material. It involves heating the sample at a controlled rate and recording the heat flow either into or from the specimen.

Gas Calorimeter for Measurement of Gas Heating Value

Many types of gas fuels are available such as LPG, CNG, LNG, and various types of biogases. All of these gases do not have same heating value or thermal energy. Many gas meters measure just the volume of gas flow through the gas meter. Gas volume does not take into account the quality of the gas, and the amount of heat available when burned. The customer is to be billed based on the quality of gas. Gas calorimeters are the best devices to measure the gas calorific value or gas heating value or gas thermal value.

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