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

Impact of Ethane, Propane, and Diluent Content in Natural Gas on the Performance of a Commercial Microturbine Generator

[+] Author and Article Information
Richard L. Hack, Vincent G. McDonell

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

California Air Resources Board, “Proposed Amendments to the California Alternative Fuels for Motor Vehicles Regulations,” Appendix D.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 130(1), 011509 (Jan 16, 2008) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2770493 History: Received March 29, 2006; Revised October 04, 2006; Published January 16, 2008

The impact of fuel composition on the performance of power generation devices is gaining interest as the desire to diversify fuel supplies increases. In the present study, measurements of combustion performance were conducted on a commercial natural gas-fired 60kW gas turbine as a function of fuel composition. A statistically designed experiment was carried out and exhaust emissions were obtained for significant amounts of ethane and propane. In addition, a limited study of the effect of inerts was conducted. The results show that emissions of NOx , CO, and NOx ∕NO are not well correlated with common descriptions of the fuel, such as higher heating value or methane number. The results and trends indicate that the presence of higher hydrocarbons in the fuel leads to appreciably higher NOx emissions for both test devices operating under similar lean conditions, while having less impact on CO emissions.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 2

Emissions as a function of MN (constant turbine exit temperature)

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Figure 3

Emission as a function of HHV (constant turbine exit temperature)

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Figure 4

MN as function of HHV

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Figure 5

NOx (ppm at 15% O2) dependency on fuel composition (% by volume)

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Figure 6

Measured versus predicted (Eq. 3) NOx levels

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Figure 7

Measured MTG injector exit plane fuel distribution (natural gas)

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Figure 8

NOx levels versus time for specific MN tests (see Table 5)

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Figure 9

Comparison of NOx measurements for two test series

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Figure 10

Corrected CO emission levels for 50% load



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