In Dictionary of Energy (Second Edition), 2015
bomb calorimeter Measurement. an apparatus that can measure heats of combustion, used in various applications such as calculating the calorific value of foods and fuels. See below.
bomb calorimeter An apparatus primarily used for measuring heats of combustion. The reaction takes place in a closed space known as the calorimeter proper, in controlled thermal contact with its surroundings, the jacket, at constant temperature. This set, together with devices for temperature measurement, heating, cooling, and stirring comprise the calorimeter. The calorimeter proper is usually a metal can with a tightly fitting lid containing water, stirred continually, in which the bomb itself is situated. It consists of a sealed heavy-walled container in which the reactants are allowed to react, under constant volume conditions, following the ignition of the combustible matter in an oxygen atmosphere. Gases at high pressures are frequently used, hence the name. In 1878, Paul Vieille (1854–1934) developed the first bomb calorimeter which was used for measuring heats of explosion at the French service of explosives in Paris. However, this bomb was attributed by many authors to M. Berthelot (1827–1907). For many years, the use of the bomb (static) was limited to studies on C, H; C,H,O, and C, H, O, N compounds and could not be used to study those containing sulfur or halogen atoms. It was not until the use of the moving bomb technique, in 1933, that these substances could be studied. The method was improved from 1948 and onward in the universities of Lund (Sweden) and Bartlesville (U.S.). The use of oxidants other than oxygen was introduced in 1961.The use of bomb calorimetry has recently been extended to industries relating to foodstuffs, animal feed, cement, and combustible waste. Bomb calorimeter data are increasingly applied to environmental studies concerned with prevention of forest fires and fire fighting through the design of energy and risk index maps. [Lisardo Núñez Regueira, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain]