Effects of high levels of steam addition on NOx̳ reduction in laminar opposed flow diffusion flames

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Virginia Tech


A "leveling off" trend in NOx emissions with high amounts of steam addition has been observed in industrial gas turbine diffusion flame combustors. Experiments were performed to try to reproduce this trend in a laminar, opposed flow diffusion flame burner. Experiments were performed with Cli4, C2H4, CO, COIH2 (1:1), and COIH2 (1:2) as fuels. Both hydrocarbon fuels and non-hydrocarbon fuels were tested to study the contribution of the Fenimore mechanism to the "leveling off" trend. Probe sampling with chemiluminescent analysis was used to fmd NOx concentrations; Pt/PtRh thermocouples corrected for radiation losses were used to measure flame temperatures.

The experiments reproduced the "leveling off" of NOx emissions, but a "leveling off" of temperatures also occurred. There were no significant differences in the results from the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon fuels. The "leveling off" of NOx emissions is attributed to the "leveling off" of temperatures in the burner. It is not necessary to invoke the Fenimore mechanism to explain this trend. At least 55% of the NOx was eliminated from the flames using steam injection, which implies that at least 55% of the NOx was formed by the Zeldovich mechanism Evidence of Fenimore NO was provided by the fact that the existence of hydrocarbon coking on the fuel nozzle encouraged NOx production in all flames.