TECHNICAL PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Combustion and Fuels

Rich-Catalytic Lean-Burn Combustion for Low-Single-Digit NOx Gas Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
Lance L. Smith, Hasan Karim, Marco J. Castaldi, Shahrokh Etemad, William C. Pfefferle

Precision Combustion, Inc., 410 Sackett Point Road, North Haven, CT 06473

Vivek Khanna, Kenneth O. Smith

Solar Turbines, Inc., 2200 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92186

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 127(1), 27-35 (Feb 09, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1787510 History: Received October 01, 2002; Revised March 01, 2003; Online February 09, 2005
Copyright © 2004 by ASME
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Autoignition delay time for natural gas, as a function of fuel/air mixture gas temperature
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Schematic of simple stirred-reactor model for calculating effect of catalytic pre-reaction on combustion stability (lean blowout)
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Gas temperature (“flame” temperature) within PSR reactor at imminent blowout, as a function of PSR inlet temperature (catalyst exit temperature)
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Schematic of rich-catalytic lean-burn (RCL) system. Catalyst cooling air and fuel-rich catalyst effluent mix prior to lean-premixed gas-phase combustion.
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Assembly of RCL catalytic reactor with 20-cm (8-in.) diameter combustor liner in Solar Turbines’ single-injector combustion test facility. Bulk flow is from left to right.
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Catalyst lightoff in Solar’s single-injector rig. Lightoff occurs at about 320°C (610 F) inlet air temperature.
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Catalyst surface temperature as a function of adiabatic flame temperature at RCL injector exit. Data obtained at nominal T70 airflow conditions.
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NOx and CO emissions, as a function of adiabatic flame temperature at emissions rake. Data obtained at 16 atm pressure, and at nominal T70 airflow conditions.
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Combustor-driven pressure oscillations (CDPO) for RCL combustion, at flame temperatures from about 1310 to 1470°C (2390 to 2680 F). Pressure oscillations remained less than 2.4 kPa (0.35 psi) peak to peak for all conditions tested.
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Side-mounted combustor configuration in modified Saturn engine, showing variable airflow control valves in primary zone air pipe and dilution air pipe
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Photograph of four-RCL-injector assembly, prior to installation in Saturn engine
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Saturn engine start-up data, obtained using RCL combustion, showing engine acceleration, catalyst activation by preburner (followed by preburner shutoff with continued catalyst activity), and loading of engine
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RCL combustor emissions during Saturn engine operation, showing ultralow NOx and CO emissions over an achievable engine operating range of 82–89% speed



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