The purpose of this study is to investigate the combustion and emission characteristics of syngas fuels applied in a micro gas turbine, which is originally designed for a natural gas fired engine. The computation results were conducted by the commercial CFD software STAR-CD, where the three-dimension compressible k-ε model for turbulent flow and PPDF (Presumed Probability Density Function) model for combustion process were constructed. As the syngas are substituted for methane, the total heat input from the blended fuels and the fuel flow rates are varied with syngas compositions and syngas substitution percentages. The computed results presented the syngas substitution effects on the combustion and emission characteristics at different syngas percentages (up to 80%) for two typical syngas compositions and the conditions where syngas applied at fixed heat input were examined.

Results showed the flame structures varied with different syngas substitution percentages. The high temperature regions were dense and concentrated on the core of the primary zone for H2-rich syngas, and then shifted to the sides of the combustor when syngas percentages were high. The NOx emissions decreased with increasing syngas percentages, but NOx emissions are higher at higher hydrogen content for the same syngas percentage. The CO2 emissions also decreased at 10% syngas substitution, but then increased as syngas percentage increased. Only using H2-rich syngas could produce less carbon dioxide. The detailed flame structures, temperature distributions, and gas emissions of the combustor were presented and compared. The exit temperature distributions and pattern factor were also discussed. Before syngas fuels are utilized 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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