Catalytic combustion has demonstrated the ability to provide low NOx emissions while maintaining high combustion efficiency. Recently, under joint NASA Lewis, EPA, and Acurex sponsorship, a catalytic reactor was tested for 1000 hours to demonstrate durability in combustion environments representative of advanced automotive gas turbine engines. At a 740K air preheat temperature and a propane fuel/air ratio of 0.028 by mass (ϕFA = 0.44), the adiabatic flame temperature was held at about 1700K. The graded cell monolithic reactor measured 5 cm in diameter by 10.2 cm in length and was operated at a reference velocity of 13.4 m/s at 1 atmosphere pressure. Measured NOx levels remained below 5 ppm while unburned hydrocarbon concentrations registered near zero and carbon monoxide levels were nominally below 20 ppm. The durability test included several parametric turndown studies and ended with a series of on/off cycling tests to further characterize reactor performance.

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