Single-Digit Emissions in a Full Scale Catalytic Combustor PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
James C. Schlatter, Ralph A. Dalla Betta, Sarento G. Nickolas

Catalytica Combustion Systems, Inc., Mountain View, CA

Martin B. Cutrone, Kenneth W. Beebe

General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY

Toshiaki Tsuchiya

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tokyo, Japan

Paper No. 97-GT-057, pp. V002T06A002; 8 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


Catalytic combustion offers the possibility of attaining the firing temperatures of current and next generation gas turbines [up to ∼1450°C (2640°F)] with nitrogen oxides (NOx) production as low as 1 part per million by volume (ppmv). Such catalytic combustion technology has been under development at Catalytica for several years, and the first full scale test of the technology took place at the General Electric Company under TEPCO sponsorship in 1992. The results of the most recent and most successful full scale test in this program are reported in this paper.

The catalytic combustor system was designed for the GE Model MS9001E gas turbine fired with natural gas fuel. The 508-mm (20-in) diameter catalytic reactor was operated at conditions representative of the startup and load cycle of that machine. It was verified that the observed NOx levels were produced not in the catalyst, but in the diffusinn flame of the preburner used to start the system and maintain the necessary catalyst inlet temperature. Even so, NOx levels below 5 ppmv (at 15% O2) were achieved at the simulated base load operating point. Carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) emissions were likewise below 10 ppmv at that condition. Single digit emissions levels also were recorded at conditions representative of the combustor operating at 78% load, the first such demonstration of the turndown capability of this system. Throughout the test, dynamic pressure measurements showed the catalytic combustor to be quieter than even the diffusion flame combustors currently in commercial service.

Copyright © 1997 by ASME
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