In the last years many research studies have been focused on the features of MILD combustion that is a stable form of combustion, obtained with high temperature reactants and high exhaust gas recirculation and characterized by low flame temperature and, consequently, low Nox emissions. This form of combustion is also characterized by low light emissions (for this reason it is also called “flameless” combustion) and a large range of stable operation. MILD combustion has been already applied in industrial furnaces where ceramic regenerators provide to raise the temperature of the entering diluted air, the main advantages being high efficiency and low emissions. The introduction of MILD combustion in power plants would allow for increasing the temperature of the entering reactants beyond the self-ignition temperature without increasing the NOx emission. The main goals of this technique are low combustion exergy losses, large range of stable combustion, and low NOx emissions. Some experiments have shown that the flameless conditions can be obtained using diluted reactants, even using heavy fuel oil. Good results in terms of NOx emissions and soot formation have been obtained for heavy oil combustion in a 10% oxygen concentration of reactants and combustion chamber inlet temperature of about 900K. In order to meet these conditions, a semiclosed CCGT cycle with high recirculation ratio, suitable for the use of heavy fuel oil, is proposed here, assuming state-of-the-art technologies for gas turbine and steam plant and steam cooling of the turbine blades. The thermodynamic analysis shows that the overall plant efficiency of the new scheme is close to 60% that is about the efficiency that can be obtained in modern CCGT power plant fuelling natural gas.

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