Abstract

Over the past decades there has been a dramatic increase in natural gas burning as the benign fossil fuel, offering far lower emissions than oil or coal. Its place had been established in a clean, or at least, cleaner energy future. Today, the national and international energy policy has been shifted to carbon neutrality — achieving net zero carbon emissions — and as result has moved natural gas from the “benign” to the “menace” category At present, there are chiefly two alternatives for fuel carbon neutrality under discussion: power-to-gas (PtG) producing methane (or synthetic natural gas, SNG, hydrogen etc.) and power-to-liquid, which stores electric power in the form of methanol. In opposite to other synthetic or fossil fuels, like synthetic methane, NG or hydrogen, methanol burning leads to significant reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides without any substantial firing system design change. Burning of synthetic methane or hydrogen requires significant effort for NOx reduction. Hydrogen as a fuel offers many advantages in power production. It is a carbon-free fuel that can decarbonize power and heat generation, and transportation, to help meet long-term CO2 emission-reduction targets. However, things are different for NOx emissions are a different matter. The more hydrogen is added to a NG, the higher the NOx is anticipated. Dry Low NOx (DLN) combustor has traditionally mixed NG with sufficient air upstream the combustor, so burning can take place in a lean atmosphere to maintain a relatively cool flame and thus keep NOx down. That approach does not work so well when more hydrogen enters the picture due to auto ignition occurring in the premix zone. Some companies already have diffusion-type combustor technology where fuel and air are supplied separately. Combustion of hydrogen, specifically in diffusion mode, implies combustion with a hotter flame, leading to higher combustion temperatures and the formation of local hot spots. These, in turn, can cause NOx to increase. The generalized solution is to cool the flame using diluents, such as demineralized water, steam or nitrogen. However, reducing NOx, by dilution reduces efficiency compared to a DLN combustor. Another option of providing wide load range of GT operation, while maintaining low NOx emissions is fuel dilution with flue gas being recirculated from the exhaust (FGR - Flue gas recirculation). The present paper discusses the effect of burning renewable fuels produced from carbon dioxide and hydrogen which are being diluted with a flow of FGR on GT performance and emissions reduction in diffusion combustors. For the prediction of the combustion behavior a methodology that combines experimental work and computational simulations was used. Given the fact that due to the increase in renewable energy introduction into the grid, addition of renewable fuel-based energy produced from carbon dioxide becomes very significant. Hence, the development of enhanced firing systems burning synthetic clean fuels with low emissions is challenging and should be promoted. Using renewable fuels for energy supply would reduce the unfavorable impact of CO2 and allow meeting the targets established in the Kyoto and Paris Protocols.

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