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Premixed ammonia/hydrogen swirl combustion under rich fuel conditions for gas turbines operation

Valera Medina, Agustin, Gutesa, M., Xiao, H., Pugh, D., Giles, A., Goktepe, B., Marsh, R. and Bowen, P. 2019. Premixed ammonia/hydrogen swirl combustion under rich fuel conditions for gas turbines operation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 44 (16) , pp. 8615-8626. 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.02.041

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Energy storage is one of the highest priority challenges in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Fluctuating, intermittent primary renewable sources such as wind and solar require low-carbon storage options to enable effective load matching, ensuring security of supply. Chemical storage is one such option, with low or zero carbon fuels such as hydrogen, alcohols and ammonia having been proposed. Ammonia provides zero-carbon hydrogen storage whilst offering liquefaction at relatively low pressures and atmospheric temperatures, enabling ease of transportation in a pre-existing infrastructure. Ammonia can also be used directly as a fuel in power plants such as gas turbines to avoid complete conversion back to hydrogen. It is a relatively unreactive fuel, and so it is of interest to explore the potential utilisation of ammonia/hydrogen mixtures. Hence, the goal of this paper is to provide a first assessment of the suitability of a chosen 70%NH330%H2 (%vol) blend for utilisation within a gas turbine environment, based on primary combustion diagnostics including combustion stability – via OH chemiluminescence - and emissions (NOx and NH3). An established optical generic swirl-burner enabled studies of the influence of equivalence ratio (φ > 1), ambient temperature (<484 ± 10 K) and bypass air, with a focus on NOx reduction, one of the main challenges for ammonia combustion. A numerical GT cycle model is developed alongside the experimental investigation. The results demonstrate that the blend has considerable potential as a fuel substitute with reasonable combustion stability and significant reduction of emissions for the cases without bypass air, due to increased chemical reactivity of unburned ammonia. However, emissions are still above those recommended for gas turbine cycles, with a theoretical cycle that still produces low efficiencies compared to DLN methane, highlighting the requirement for new injection techniques to reduce NOx/unburned NH3 in the flue gases whilst ensuring increased power outputs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0360-3199
Funders: WEFO
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 6 February 2019
Last Modified: 25 May 2022 17:14

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