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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Coal, Biomass, and Alternative Fuels

The Development of a Model for the Assessment of Biofouling in Gas Turbine System

[+] Author and Article Information
Tosin Onabanjo

Department of Power and Propulsion,
School of Engineering,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: t.o.onabanjo@cranfield.ac.uk

Giuseppina Di Lorenzo

Department of Power and Propulsion,
School of Engineering,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: g.dilorenzo@cranfield.ac.uk

Eric Goodger

Department of Power and Propulsion,
School of Engineering,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: e.m.goodger@cranfield.ac.uk

Pericles Pilidis

Department of Power and Propulsion,
School of Engineering,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
e-mail: p.pilidis@cranfield.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Coal, Biomass and Alternate Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received November 4, 2013; final manuscript received November 27, 2013; published online January 24, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 136(6), 061401 (Jan 24, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-13-1399; doi: 10.1115/1.4026367 History: Received November 04, 2013; Revised November 27, 2013

A significant problem encountered in the gas turbine industry with fuel products is the degradation of fuel and fuel systems by micro-organisms, which are largely bacteria, embedded in biofilms. These micro-organisms cause system fouling and other degradatory effects, extending often to sudden failure of components with cost implications. Current methods of assessment are only postimpact evaluation and do not necessarily quantify the effects of fuel degradation on engine performance and emission. Therefore, effective models that allow predictive condition monitoring are required for engine's fuel system reliability, especially with readily biodegradable biofuels. The aim of this paper is to introduce the concept of biofouling in gas turbines and the development of a biomathematical model with potentials to predict the extent and assess the effects of microbial growth in fuel systems. The tool takes into account mass balance stoichiometry equations of major biological processes in fuel biofouling. Further development, optimization, and integration with existing Cranfield in-house simulation tools will be carried out to assess the overall engine performance and emission characteristics. This new tool is important for engineering design decision, optimization processes, and analysis of microbial fuel degradation in gas turbine fuels and fuel systems.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Biofilm model system of fouling in gas turbine fuel tanks

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Fig. 2

Mass and mole fractions of the model fuel “BX-F”

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Fig. 3

Sequence of biodegradation reaction for bioavailable BX-F fuel under anoxic conditions

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Fig. 4

Composition and mass distribution of bioavailable BX-F fuel over three sequential biodegradation series (anoxic conditions) with undegraded fuel (a), 3.1% degraded fuel (b), 6.2% degraded fuel (c), and 9.3% degraded fuel (d)

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