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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

Analysis of NOx Formation in a Hydrogen-Fueled Gas Turbine Engine

[+] Author and Article Information
Peter Therkelsen, Tavis Werts, Vincent McDonell, Scott Samuelsen

UCI Combustion Laboratory, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3550

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 131(3), 031507 (Feb 19, 2009) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3028232 History: Received April 25, 2008; Revised April 28, 2008; Published February 19, 2009

A commercially available natural gas fueled gas turbine engine was operated on hydrogen. Three sets of fuel injectors were developed to facilitate stable operation while generating differing levels of fuel∕air premixing. One set was designed to produce near uniform mixing while the others have differing degrees of nonuniformity. The emission performance of the engine over its full range of loads is characterized for each of the injector sets. In addition, the performance is also assessed for the set with near uniform mixing as operated on natural gas. The results show that improved mixing and lower equivalence ratio decrease NO emission levels as expected. However, even with nearly perfect premixing, it is found that the engine, when operated on hydrogen, produces a higher amount of NO than when operated with natural gas. Much of this attributed to the higher equivalence ratios that the engine operates on when firing hydrogen. However, even the lowest equivalence ratios run at low power conditions, higher NO was observed. Analysis of the potential NO formation effects of residence time, kinetic pathways of NO production via NNH, and the kinetics of the dilute combustion strategy used are evaluated. While no one mechanism appears to explain the reasons for the higher NO, it is concluded that each may be contributing to the higher NO emissions observed with hydrogen. In the present configuration with the commercial control system operating normally, it is evident that system level effects are also contributing to the observed NO emission differences between hydrogen and natural gas.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

C60 combustor outline with injector plane cross section

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Figure 2

Fuel injector, OEM natural gas C60 injector

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Figure 3

Fuel injector, axial hydrogen injector

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Figure 4

Fuel injector, radial hydrogen injector

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Figure 5

Fuel injector, early radial hydrogen injector

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Figure 6

Radial, axial, and early radial hydrogen injector mixing profiles for multiple power loads, volumetric concentration comparison

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Figure 7

Radial, axial, and early radial hydrogen injector mixing profiles for multiple power loads, equivalence ratio comparison

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Figure 8

Axial, radial, and early radial injection NO emissions versus power load (full load range)

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Figure 9

Axial, radial, and early radial injector NO emissions versus equivalence ratio (full load range)

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Figure 10

NO emissions for early radial injector operated on hydrogen and natural gas

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Figure 11

NO emissions for early radial injectors operated on a mixture of hydrogen and natural gas

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Figure 12

NO formation rate for methane and hydrogen at given equivalence ratios

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Figure 13

Normalized sensitivity coefficients for methane; run at engine inlet conditions and various reactor temperatures

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Figure 14

Normalized sensitivity coefficients for hydrogen; run at engine inlet conditions and various reactor temperatures

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Figure 15

Diagram of “loop reactors” presented for flameless oxidation (26)

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Figure 16

Recreated NOx reburn engine pathway diagram (27)

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