The present work is concerned with the thermodynamic and chemical kinetics of gas turbine combustor operating in the Moderate or Intense Low-oxygen Dilution (MILD) combustion regime. The objective of the present study is to evaluate analytically the effect of the recirculation rate of combustion products within the FLOXCOM gas turbine combustor on a number of combustion parameters, mainly on the ignition delay time, NOx and CO emission, minimum ignition temperature, rate of pollutant formation and the dilution rate. The study also refers to the mechanism of influence of the recirculation rate on these values. Combustion pressure and inlet air temperature are used as parameters. The gas turbine is fueled with methane. The analysis is mainly based on CHEMKIN simulations where the calculation scheme of the combustion process in the combustor is modeled by a combination of plug reactors and mixers. Due to the unique characteristics of gas turbines, inlet air temperature is directly linked to combustion pressure while assuming conventional adiabatic compression efficiencies. It is shown that free radicals, which are part of the reaction products and exists for only a short period of time within the recirculated gases, decrease ignition delay time. The importance of shortening the ignition delay is further highlighted because of the adverse effect oxygen dilution has on this parameter (dilution of the reactants by the reaction products). It was found that there is an optimal recirculation rate, which corresponds to maximum heat density. In addition, results indicate that CO emission values rise with the recirculation rate, however the NOX values are more complicated. NOX depends on recirculation rate when flame temperatures are kept held constant. The NOX emission increases and the CO emission decreases with compressor pressure ratio. The CO concentration that is evaluated in the combustion process is further reduced during last dilution stage. Finally, basic rules for design optimization of the combustor are drafted. These are based on conventional one-dimensional fluid and thermodynamic relations and on the CHEMKIN simulations.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.