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Dissociative influence of H2O vapour/spray on lean blowoff and NOx reduction for heavily carbonaceous syngas swirling flames

Pugh, Daniel, Bowen, Philip, Marsh, R., Crayford, Andrew, Runyon, Jon, Morris, Steven, Valera-Medina, A. and Giles, Anthony 2017. Dissociative influence of H2O vapour/spray on lean blowoff and NOx reduction for heavily carbonaceous syngas swirling flames. Combustion and Flame 177 , pp. 37-48. 10.1016/j.combustflame.2016.11.010

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Abstract

Recent studies have described and evidenced the enhancement of fundamental combustion parameters such as laminar flame speed due to the catalytic influence of H2O with heavily carbonaceous syngas mixtures. In this study, the potential benefits of these subtle changes in water loading and hence reaction pathways are explored in terms of delayed lean blowoff, and primary emission reduction in a premixed turbulent swirling flame (Ø = 0.6–0.8), scaled for practical relevance. Chemical kinetic models initially confirm that H2O has a substantial impact on the employed fuel behaviour; increasing flame speed by up to 60% across an experimental range representative of fluctuation in atmospheric humidity (∼1.8 mol%). OH* chemiluminescence and OH planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) were employed to analyse the changes in heat release structure resulting from the experimental addition of H2O vapour to the combustor. Equivalent concentrations of liquid H2O were introduced into the central recirculation zone of the premixed flame as an atomised spray, to investigate the influence of phase changes on the catalytic effect. Near the lean stability limit, H2O addition compresses heat release to shorten the elongated flame structure. Whereas with a stable and well-defined flame structure, the addition triggers a change in axial heat release location, causing the flame front to retract upstream toward the burner outlet. Higher quantities of two-phase flow were combined to explore the possibility of employing the spray as a stabilising mechanism, effectively dampening the observed influence of humidity. The chemical enhancement induced by the controlled supply was shown to reduce the lean blowoff stability limit, enabling an increase in additional air flow of almost 10%. However, the catalytic effect of H2O diminishes with excessive supply and thermal quenching prevails. There is a compound benefit of NOx reduction from the use of H2O as a flame stabiliser with the practically-relevant syngas: First NOx production decreases due to thermal effect of H2O addition, with potential for further reduction from the change in lean stability limit; leanest experimental concentrations reduced by up to a factor of four with two-phase flow at the highest rates of supply. Hence, the catalytic effect of H2O on reaction pathways and reaction rate predicted and observed in the laminar environment, is shown to translate into practical benefits in the challenging environment of turbulent, swirl-stabilised flames.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 00102180
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 January 2017
Date of Acceptance: 25 October 2016
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2019 23:15
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/97355

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