The increasing amount of renewable energy and emission norms challenge gas turbine power plants to operate at part-load with high efficiency, while reducing NOx and CO emissions. A novel solution to this dilemma is external Flue Gas Recirculation (FGR), in which flue gases are recirculated to the gas turbine inlet, increasing compressor inlet temperature and enabling higher part load efficiencies. FGR also alters the oxidizer composition, potentially leading to reduced NOx levels. This paper presents a kinetic model using chemical reactor networks in a lean premixed combustor to study the impact of FGR on emissions. The flame zone is split in two perfectly stirred reactors modelling the flame front and the recirculation zone. The flame reactor is determined based on a chemical time scale approach, accounting for different reaction kinetics due to FGR oxidizers. The recirculation zone is determined through empirical correlations. It is followed by a plug flow reactor. This method requires less details of the flow field, has been validated with literature data and is generally applicable for modelling premixed flames. Results show that due to less O2 concentration, NOx formation is inhibited down to 10–40% and CO levels are escalated up to 50%, for identical flame temperatures. Increasing combustor pressure leads to a rise in NOx due to thermal effects beyond 1800 K, and a drop in CO levels, due to the reduced chemical dissociation of CO2. Wet FGR reduces NOx by 5–10% and increases CO by 10–20%.

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