Modified humid power cycles provide the necessary boundary condition for combustion to operate on a wide fuel spectrum in a steam-rich atmosphere comprising hydrogen and syngas from gasification besides natural gas as fuels. Thus, these cycles with their high efficiency and flexibility fit in a carbon-free energy market dominated by renewable electricity generation, providing dispatchable heat and electric power.
To realize their full potential, the combustor utilized in such power cycles must fulfill the emission limits as well as demands of stable combustion over a wide range of fuel and steam ratios. The operation is limited by the risk of lean blowout for highly diluted syngas with low reactivity, and flashback for highly reactive hydrogen. Further, the gasification product gas can contain unwanted pollutants such as tars and nitrogen containing species like ammonia (NH3). Tars carry a considerable portion of the feedstock’s energy but are associated with detrimental operational behavior. The presence of ammonia in the combustion increases the risk of high NOx-emission at already small ammonia concentrations in the fuel.
In this work, humid hydrogen flames are analyzed for their stability and emissions. Stable hydrogen flames were produced over a wide equivalence ratio and steam ratio range at negligible NOx-emissions.
Further, natural gas, and a fuel blend substituting bio-syngas, was doped with ammonia. The combustion is analyzed with a focus on emissions and flame position and stability. The addition of ammonia causes high NOx-formation from fuel bound nitrogen (FBN), which highly increases NOx-emissions. The latter decrease with increasing NH3 content and increasing equivalence ratio.