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

Study of Fuel Composition Effects on Flashback Using a Confined Jet Flame Burner

[+] Author and Article Information
Vincent McDonell

e-mail: mcdonell@ucicl.uci.edu
UCI Combustion Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697-3550

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 27, 2012; final manuscript received June 28, 2012; published online November 21, 2012. Editor: Dilip R. Ballal.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 135(1), 011502 (Nov 21, 2012) (9 pages) Paper No: GTP-12-1235; doi: 10.1115/1.4007345 History: Received June 27, 2012; Revised June 28, 2012

Flashback is the main operability issue associated with converting lean, premixed combustion systems from operation on natural gas to operation on high hydrogen content fuels. Most syngas fuels contain some amount of hydrogen (15–100%) depending on the fuel processing scheme. With this variability in the composition of syngas, the question of how fuel composition impacts flashback propensity arises. To address this question, a jet burner configuration was used to develop systematic data for a wide range of compositions under turbulent flow conditions. The burner consisted of a quartz burner tube confined by a larger quartz tube. The use of quartz allowed visualization of the flashback processes occurring. Various fuel compositions of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and natural gas were premixed with air at equivalence ratios corresponding to constant adiabatic flame temperatures (AFT) of 1700 K and 1900 K. Once a flame was stabilized on the burner, the air flow rate would be gradually reduced while holding the AFT constant via the equivalence ratio until flashback occurred. Schlieren and intensified OH* images captured at high speeds during flashback allowed some additional understanding of what is occurring during the highly dynamic process of flashback. Confined and unconfined flashback data were analyzed by comparing data collected in the present study with existing data in the literature. A statistically designed test matrix was used which allows analysis of variance of the results to be carried out, leading to correlation between fuel composition and flame temperature with (1) critical flashback velocity gradient and (2) burner tip temperature. Using the burner tip temperature as the unburned temperature in the laminar flame speed calculations showed increased correlation of the flashback data and laminar flame speed as opposed to when the actual unburned gas temperature was used.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the axisymmetric single injector rig

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Fig. 2

Schlieren images of flashback for fuel composition of 50%/50% H2/CO flashback (no confinement)

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Fig. 3

Schlieren images of flashback for fuel composition of 100% H2 (no confinement)

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Fig. 4

Intensified OH* images of flashback for fuel composition of 100% H2 (with confinement)

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Fig. 5

Comparison of experimental flashback data for natural gas fuels from previous work and current UC Irvine Combustion Lab (UCICL) data

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Fig. 6

Comparison of experimental flashback data from previous work and current UC Irvine Combustion Lab (UCICL) data ([23], H2-air; [27], city gas-air; [28], H2-air)

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Fig. 7

Predicted values versus actual values for the gc correlation

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Fig. 8

Predicted values versus actual values for the gc correlation collected with confined tube by Eichler et al. [23]

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Fig. 9

Comparison between predicted gc and laminar flame speed for 50%/50%- H2/CO [30] and 50%/50%-H2/CH4 [31]

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Fig. 10

Model prediction of critical velocity gradient for lower AFT level (1700 K)

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Fig. 11

Model prediction of critical velocity gradient for higher AFT level (1900 K)

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Fig. 12

Critical velocity gradient as a function of two sets of laminar flame speeds where each set uses a different unburned gas temperature in the laminar flame speed calculation

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Fig. 13

Predicted values versus actual values for the tip temperature correlation

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Fig. 14

Model prediction of injector tip temperature for AFT = 1700 K

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Fig. 15

Model prediction of injector tip temperature for AFT = 1900 K

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Fig. 16

Injector tip temperature at flashback versus laminar flame speed




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