While natural gas is achieving unrivalled penetration in the power generation sector, especially in gas-turbine combined cycles (CCGT), an increasing number of alternative fuels are in a position to take up the ground left vacant by this major primary energy. In particular, within the thriving family of liquid fuels, the class of volatile products opens interesting prospects for clean and efficient power generation in CCGT plants. Therefore, it has become a necessity for the gas turbine industry to extensively evaluate such new fuel candidates, among which: naphtha’s; kerosines; gas condensates; Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) and alcohols are the most prominent representatives. From a technical standpoint, the success of such projects requires both a careful approach to several specific issues (eg: fuel handling & storage, operation safety) and a clear identification of technological limits. For instance, while the purity of gas condensates meets the requirements of heavy-duty technologies, it generally appears unsuitable for aeroderivative machines.

This paper offers a succinct but comprehensive technical approach and overviews some experience acquired in this area with heavy duty gas turbines. Its aim is to inform gas turbine users/engineers and project developers who envisage volatile fuels as alternative primary energies in gas turbine plants.

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