The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of syngas substitution on combustion characteristics for a micro gas turbine. For syngas combustion, the ratio of hydrogen and carbon monoxide is varied depending on the process techniques and it could be critical for gas turbine combustion applications. The combustion characteristics of syngas are quite different from natural gas, for example, the flame speed of hydrogen is higher than that of natural gas, but the flame speed of carbon monoxide is lower. In order to understand the performance differences between syngas fuel and natural gas, the combustion and emission characteristics of a can type combustor were investigated with model simulations using the commercial code STAR-CD, where a three-dimensional compressible k-ε model for turbulent flows and presumed probability density function for chemical process between methane/syngas/air mixtures were constructed.

For the fuel injection velocity of 60 m/s and using hydrogen-rich (H2/CO = 80/20) syngas, the high temperature regions are separated and close to the sides of the combustor with some syngas fuel substituted for methane, but the high temperature zones move back to the core region of the combustor by substituting more syngas fuel. The CO2 and NOx emissions are decreased with 10% methane substituted by syngas, but increased with decreasing methane percentages. The detailed flame structures, distributions of flame temperature and flow velocity, and gas emissions of the combustor were presented and compared by using syngas composition and methane percentage of blended fuel mixture as the parameters. The exit temperature profiles and pattern factor were also discussed. Before syngas fuels are used as an alternative fuel for the micro gas turbine, further experimental testing are needed as the CFD modeling results provide a guidance for the improved designs of the combustor.

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