Currently, new concepts for power generation are discussed, as a response to combat global warming due to CO2 emissions stemming from the combustion of fossil fuels. These concepts include new, low-carbon fuels as well as centralized and decentralized solutions. Thus, a more diverse range of fuel supplies will be used, with (biogenic) low-caloric gases such as syngas and coke oven gas (COG) among them. Typical for theses low-caloric gases is the amount of hydrogen, with a share of 50% and even higher. However, hydrogen mixtures have a higher reactivity than natural gas (NG) mixtures, burned mostly in today’s gas turbine combustors.

Therefore, in the present work, a combined experimental and modeling study of nitrogen-enriched hydrogen-air mixtures, some of them with a share of methane, to be representative for COG, will be discussed focusing on laminar flame speed data Su as one of the major combustion properties. Measurements were performed in a burner test rig at ambient pressure and at a preheat temperature T0 of 373 K. Flames were stabilized at fuel-air ratios between about φ = 0.5–2.1, depending on the specific fuel-air mixture.

This database was used for the validation of four chemical kinetic reaction models, including an in-house one, and by referring to hydrogen-enriched natural gas mixtures.

The measured laminar flame speed data of nitrogen-enriched methane-hydrogen-air mixtures are much smaller than the ones of nitrogen-enriched hydrogen-air mixtures. The grade of agreement between measured and predicted data depends on the type of flames and the type of reaction model as well as of the fuel-air ratio: good agreement was found in the fuel lean and slightly fuel rich regime; a large underprediction of the measured data exists at very fuel-rich ratios (φ > 1.4).

From the results of the present work, it is obvious that further investigations should focus on highly nitrogen-enriched methane-air mixtures, in particular for very high fuel-air ratio (φ > 1.4). This knowledge will contribute to a more efficient and a more reliable use of low-caloric gases for power generation.

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