Catalytic Combustor Development for Ultra-Low Emissions Industrial Gas Turbines PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
P. Dutta

Solar Turbines Incorporated, San Diego, CA

D. K. Yee, R. A. Dalla Betta

Catalytica Incorporated, Mountain View, CA

Paper No. 97-GT-497, pp. V002T05A020; 7 pages
  • ASME 1997 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition
  • Volume 2: Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Combustion and Fuels; Oil and Gas Applications; Cycle Innovations
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 2–5, 1997
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7869-9
  • Copyright © 1997 by ASME


The goal of the Advanced Turbine Systems (ATS) program is to develop a high thermal efficiency industrial gas turbine with ultra-low emissions (<10 ppmv NOx, CO and UHC @ 15% O2) over the 50 to 100% load range. Catalytic combustion was chosen as an approach likely to meet ATS emissions goals. A subscale catalytic combustor development program was designed to develop a technical knowledge base for catalyst design (catalyst construction, length), performance (ignition, activity and emissions) and operating limitations (fuel-air turndown and sensitivity to combustor operating variables). A novel catalyst design with preferential catalyst coating to limit substrate temperatures was used in the tests. The catalytic combustor consists of a fuel-air premixer, catalytic reactor and a post-catalyst zone for completion of homogeneous gas phase reactions. In situ measurements of mean fuel concentrations at the exit of the premixer were completed to characterize fuel-air premixing levels. Performance of the catalyst was monitored through global emissions measurements at the exit of the post-catalyst combustor under simulated engine conditions, and measurement of catalyst substrate temperatures. Ultra-low emissions were achieved for relatively uniform fuel-air premixing (<10% peak to peak variation in fuel concentration) with higher inhomogeneities (>10% peak to peak variation) leading to either locally high or low substrate temperatures. Regions with low substrate temperatures led to high CO and UHC emissions. Modeling of post-catalyst homogeneous reactions using a standard stationary, one-dimensional, laminar premixed flame formulation showed good agreement with measurements. In short term tests, the catalysts showed the desired chemical activity and ability for multiple light-off. The subscale combustor development work provided the necessary technical information for full scale catalytic combustion system development for the ATS gas turbine.

Copyright © 1997 by ASME
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