Development of a Catalytic Combustor for Industrial Gas Turbines PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Luke H. Cowell

Solar Turbines Incorporated, San Diego, CA

Matthew P. Larkin

Engelhard Corporation, Edison, NJ

Paper No. 94-GT-254, pp. V003T06A012; 9 pages
  • ASME 1994 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Combustion and Fuels; Oil and Gas Applications; Cycle Innovations
  • The Hague, Netherlands, June 13–16, 1994
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7885-9
  • Copyright © 1994 by ASME


A catalytic combustion system for advanced industrial gas turbines is under long tern development employing recent advances in catalyst and materials technologies. Catalytic combustion is a proven means of burning fuel with single digit NOx emissions levels. However, this technology has yet to be considered for production in an industrial gas turbine for a number of reasons including: limited catalyst durability, demonstration of a system that can operate over all loads and ambient conditions, and market and cost factors. The catalytic combustion system will require extensive modifications to production gas turbines including fuel staging and variable geometry. The combustion system is composed of five elements: a preheat combustor, premixer, catalyst bed, part load injector and post-catalyst combustor. The preheat combustor operates in a lean premixed mode and is used to elevate catalyst inlet air and fuel to operating temperature. The premixer combines fuel and air into a uniform mixture before entering the catalyst. The catalyst bed initiates the fuel-air reactions, elevating the mixture temperature and partially oxidizing the fuel. The part load injector is a lean premixed combustor system that provides fuel and air to the post-catalyst combustor. The post-catalyst combustor is the volume downstream of the catalyst bed where the combustion reactions are completed. At part load conditions a conventional flame bums in this zone. Combustion testing is on-going in a subscale rig to optimize the system and define operating limits. Short duration rig testing has been completed to 9 atmospheres pressure with stable catalytic combustion and NOx emissions down to the 5 ppmv level. Testing was intended to prove-out design elements at representative full load engine conditions. Subscale combustion testing is planned to document performance at part-load conditions. Preliminary full-scale engine design studies are underway.

Copyright © 1994 by ASME
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