NOx Sensitivities for Gas Turbine Engines Operated on Lean-Premixed Combustion and Conventional Diffusion Flames FREE

[+] Author Affiliations
David Nicol, Philip C. Malte, Jenkin Lai, Nick N. Marinov, David T. Pratt

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Robert A. Corr

General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY

Paper No. 92-GT-115, pp. V003T06A012; 14 pages
  • ASME 1992 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Combustion and Fuels; Oil and Gas Applications; Cycle Innovations
  • Cologne, Germany, June 1–4, 1992
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7895-8
  • Copyright © 1992 by ASME


NOx exhaust emissions for gas turbine engines with lean-premixed combustors are examined as a function of combustor pressure (P), mean residence time (τ), fuel-air equivalence ratio (φ), and inlet mixture temperature (Ti). The fuel is methane. The study is accomplished through chemical reactor modeling of the combustor, using CH4 oxidation and NOx kinetic mechanisms currently available. The NOx is formed by the Zeldovich, prompt, and nitrous oxide mechanisms.

The combustor is assumed to have a uniform φ, and is modeled using two reactors in series. The first reactor is a well-stirred reactor (WSR) operating at incipient extinction. This simulates the initiation and stabilization of the combustion process. The second reactor is a plug-flow reactor (PFR), which simulates the continuation of the combustion process, and permits it to approach completion. For comparison, two variations of this baseline model are also considered. In the first variation, the combustor is modeled by extending the WSR until it fills the whole combustor, thereby eliminating the PFR. In the second variation, the WSR is eliminated, and the combustor is treated as a PFR with recycle. These two variations do not change the NOx values significantly from the results obtained using the baseline model.

The pressure sensitivity of the NOx is examined. This is found to be minimum, and essentially nil, when the conditions are P = 1 to 10atm, Ti = 600K, and φ = 0.6. However, when one or more of these parameters increases above the values listed, the NOx dependence on the pressure approaches P raised to a power of 0.4-to-0.6.

The source of the NOx is also examined. For the WSR operating at incipient extinction, the NOx is contributed mainly by the prompt and nitrous oxide mechanisms, with the prompt contribution increasing as φ increases. However, for the combustor as a whole, the nitrous oxide mechanism predominates over the prompt mechanism, and for φ of 0.5-to-0.6, competes strongly with the Zeldovich mechanism. For φ greater than 0.6-to-0.7, the Zeldovich mechanism is the predominant source of the NOx for the combustor as a whole.

Verification of the model is based on the comparison of its output to results published recently for a methane-fired, porous-plate burner operated with variable P, φ, and Ti. The model shows agreement to these laboratory results within a factor two, with almost exact agreement occurring for the leanest and coolest cases considered. Additionally, comparison of the model to jet-stirred reactor NOx data is shown. Good agreement between the model results and the data is obtained for most of the jet-stirred reactor operating range. However, the NOx predicted by the model exhibits a stronger sensitivity on the combustion temperature than indicated by the jet-stirred reactor data.

Although the emphasis of the paper is on lean-premixed combustors, NOx modeling for conventional diffusion-flame combustors is presented in order to provide a complete discussion of NOx for gas turbine engines.

Copyright © 1992 by ASME
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