In response to environmental concerns of NOx emissions, gas turbine manufacturers have developed engines that operate under lean, pre-mixed fuel and air conditions. While this has proven to reduce NOx emissions by lowering peak flame temperatures, it is not without its limitations as engines utilizing this technology are more susceptible to combustion dynamics. Although dependent on a number of mechanisms, changes in fuel composition can alter the dynamic response of a given combustion system. This is of particular interest as increases in demand of domestic natural gas have fueled efforts to utilize alternatives such as coal derived syngas, imported liquefied natural gas and hydrogen or hydrogen augmented fuels. However, prior to changing the fuel supply end-users need to understand how their system will respond. A variety of historical parameters have been utilized to determine fuel interchangeability such as Wobbe and Weaver Indices, however these parameters were never optimized for today’s engines operating under lean pre-mixed combustion. This paper provides a discussion of currently available parameters to describe fuel interchangeability. Through the analysis of the dynamic response of a lab-scale Rijke tube combustor operating on various fuel blends, it is shown that commonly used indices are inadequate for describing combustion specific phenomena.

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