A study has been undertaken to experimentally and numerically evaluate the use of carbon dioxide or steam as premixed fuel additive in hydrogen-air flames to aid in the development of lean premixed (LPM) swirl burner technology for low NOx operation. Chemical kinetics modelling indicates that the use of CO2 or steam in the premixed reactants reduces H2-air laminar flame speed and adiabatic flame temperature within the well-characterized range of preheated LPM methane-air flames, albeit in markedly different proportions; for example, nearly 65 %vol CO2 as a proportion of the fuel is required for a reduction in laminar flame speed to equivalent CH4-air values, while approximately 30 %vol CO2 in the fuel is required for an equivalent reduction in adiabatic flame temperature, significantly impacted by the increased heat capacity of CO2. The 2nd generation high-pressure generic swirl burner, designed for use with LPM CH4-air, was therefore utilized to experimentally investigate the influence of CO2 and steam dilution on pressurized (up to 250 kW/MPa), preheated (up to 573 K), LPM H2-air flame stability using high-speed OH* chemiluminescence. In addition, exhaust gas emissions, such as NOx and CO, have been measured in comparison with equivalent thermal power conditions for CH4-air flames, showing that low NOx operation can be achieved. Furthermore, pure LPM H2-air flames are characterized for the first time in this burner, stabilized at low equivalence ratio (approximately 0.24) and increased Reynolds number at atmospheric pressure compared to the stable CH4-air flame (equivalence ratio of 0.55). The influence of extinction strain rate is suggested to characterize, both experimentally and numerically, the observed lean flame behavior, in particular as extinction strain rate has been shown to be non-monotonic with pressure for highly-reactive and diffuse fuels such as hydrogen.

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