Flue gas recirculation (FGR) is a promising technology for the optimization of post-combustion CO2 capture in natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants. In this work, the impact of FGR on lean gas turbine premix combustion is predicted by analytical and numerical investigations as well as comparison to experiments. In particular the impact of vitiated air condition and moderate increase of CO2 concentration into combustion reactivity and NOx emission is studied. The influence of inlet pressure, temperature and recirculated NOx are taken as parameters of this study. Two different kinetic schemes are used to predict the impact that FGR has on the combustion process: the GRI3.0 and the RDO6_NO, which is a newly compiled mechanism from the DLR Stuttgart. The effects of the FGR on the NOx emissions are predicted using a chemical reactor network including unmixedness as presumed probability density function (PDF) to account for real effects. The magnitude and ratio of prompt to post-flame thermal NOx changes with the FGR-ratio producing less post flame NOx at reduced O2 content. For technical mixtures (i. e. an industrial fuel injector), NOx emission can be expected to be lower with the vitiation of the oxidizer. This is due to several effects: at low O2 concentration, the highest possible adiabatic flame temperatures for stoichiometric conditions decreases resulting in lower NOx when averaged over all mixing fractions. Further effects result from lower post flame NOx production and the role of “reburn” chemistry, actually reducing NOx (recirculated from the exhaust), which might become relevant for the high recirculation ratios, where parts of the flame would operate at rich stoichiometry at given unmixedness. Therefore in general for each combustor technical mixing could decrease NOx with respect to perfect mixing at high FGR-ratio assuming the engine can still be operated. Although the findings are quite general for gas turbines the advantage that reheat engines have in terms of operation are highlighted. For reheat engines this can be understood as an extension of the “reheat concept” and used as the next step in the goal to achieve minimal emissions at increasing power. In addition, NOx emission obtained in FGR combustion reduces even further when the engine pressure ratio increases, making the concept particularly well suited for reheat engines.

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