Burning leaner is an effective way to reduce emissions and improve efficiency. However, this increases the instability of the combustion and hence, increases the tendency of the flame to blowout. On the other hand, the ignition delay of a jet fuel is a crucial factor of the instability feedback loop. Shorter ignition delay results in faster feedback loop, and longer ignition delay results in slower feedback loop. This study investigates the potential effect of ignition delay on the lean blowout limit of a gas turbine combustion chamber.

At the Low Carbon Combustion Centre of The University of Sheffield, a range of tests were carried out for a range of jet fuels on a Rolls-Royce Tay combustor rig. The ignition delay for each fuel was tested using Advanced Fuel Ignition Delay Analyser (AFIDA 2805).

Lean blowout tests (LBO) was conducted on various air flows rates. High speed imaging was recorded using a high speed camera to give further details of the flame behavior near blowout limit for various fuels. The instability level was observed using the pressure, vibration and acoustic fluctuation. This paper presents results from an experimental study performed on a small gas turbine combustor, comparing Lean Blowout limit of different conventional, alternative and novel jet fuels with various ignition delay characteristics. It was observed that at higher cetane number, the blowout is improved remarkably. The Ignition plays an important role in determining the average instability level, and as result determines the Lean Blowout limit of a fuel.

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