The development of integrated coal gasification combined cycle (IGCC) systems ensures cost-effective and environmentally sound options for supplying future coal utilizing power generation needs. The Japanese government and the electric power industries in Japan promoted research and development of an IGCC system using an air-blown entrained-flow coal gasifier. We worked on developing a low-Btu fueled gas turbine combustor to improve the thermal efficiency of the IGCC by raising the inlet-gas temperature of gas turbine.

On the other hand, Europe and the United States are now developing the oxygen-blown IGCC demonstration plants. Coal gasified fuel produced in an oxygen-blown entrained-flow coal gasifier, has a calorific value of 8.6MJ/m 3 which is one fifth that of natural gas. However, the adiabatic flame temperature of oxygen-blown medium-Btu coal gaseous fuel is higher than that of natural gas and so NOx production from nitrogen fixation is expected to increase significantly. In the oxygen-blown IGCC system, a surplus nitrogen in quantity is produced in the oxygen-production unit. When nitrogen premixed with coal gasified fuel is injected into the combustor, the power to compress nitrogen increases. A low NOx combustion technology which is capable of decreasing the power to compress nitrogen is a significant advance in gas turbine development with an oxygen-blown IGCC system. We have started to develop a low NOx combustion technology using medium-Btu coal gasified fuel produced in the oxygen-blown IGCC process.

In this paper, the effect of nitrogen injected directly into the combustor on the thermal efficiency of the plant is discussed. A 1300 °C-class gas turbine combustor with a swirling nitrogen injection function designed with a stable and low NOx combustion technology was constructed and the performance of this combustor was evaluated under atmospheric pressure conditions. Analyses confirmed that the thermal efficiency of the plant improved by 0.2 percent (absolute), compared with a case where nitrogen is premixed with coal gasified fuel before injection into the combustor. Moreover, this new technique which injects nitrogen directly into the high temperature region in the combustor results in a significant reduction in NOx production from nitrogen fixation. We estimate that CO emission concentration decreases to a significant level under high pressure conditions, while CO emission concentration in contrast to NOx emission rises sharply with increases in quantity of nitrogen injected into the combustor.

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