Annapurna Basavaraju


2 Impact of Different Fuel Inlet Diameters onto the NOx Emissions in a Hydrogen Combustor

Authors: Annapurna Basavaraju, Franz Heitmeir, Arianna Mastrodonato


The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) is creating awareness for the overall reduction of NOx emissions by 80% in its vision 2020. Hence this promotes the researchers to work on novel technologies, one such technology is the use of alternative fuels. Among these fuels hydrogen is of interest due to its one and only significant pollutant NOx. The influence of NOx formation due to hydrogen combustion depends on various parameters such as air pressure, inlet air temperature, air to fuel jet momentum ratio etc. Appropriately, this research is motivated to investigate the impact of the air to fuel jet momentum ratio onto the NOx formation in a hydrogen combustion chamber for aircraft engines. The air to jet fuel momentum is defined as the ratio of impulse/momentum of air with respect to the momentum of fuel. The experiments were performed in an existing combustion chamber that has been previously tested for methane. Premix of the reactants has not been considered due to the high reactivity of the hydrogen and high risk of a flashback. In order to create a less rich zone of reaction at the burner and to decrease the emissions, a forced internal recirculation flow has been achieved by integrating a plate similar to honeycomb structure, suitable to the geometry of the liner. The liner has been provided with an external cooling system to avoid the increase of local temperatures and in turn the reaction rate of the NOx formation. The injected air has been preheated to aim at so called flameless combustion. The air to fuel jet momentum ratio has been inspected by changing the area of fuel inlets and keeping the number of fuel inlets constant in order to alter the fuel jet momentum, thus maintaining the homogeneity of the flow. Within this analysis, promising results for a flameless combustion have been achieved. For a constant number of fuel inlets, it was seen that the reduction of the fuel inlet diameter resulted in decrease of air to fuel jet momentum ratio in turn lowering the NOx emissions.

Keywords: Hydrogen, Combustion Chamber, Nox emission, jet momentum

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1 Design of Low-Emission Catalytically Stabilized Combustion Chamber Concept

Authors: Annapurna Basavaraju, Andreas Marn, Franz Heitmeir


The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) is cognizant for the overall reduction of NOx emissions by 80% in its vision 2020. Moreover small turbo engines have higher fuel specific emissions compared to large engines due to their limited combustion chamber size. In order to fulfill these requirements, novel combustion concepts are essential. This motivates to carry out the research on the current state of art, catalytic stabilized combustion chamber using hydrogen in small jet engines which are designed and investigated both numerically and experimentally during this project. Catalytic combustion concepts can also be adopted for low caloric fuels and are therefore not constrained to only hydrogen. However, hydrogen has high heating value and has the major advantage of producing only the nitrogen oxides as pollutants during the combustion, thus eliminating the interest on other emissions such as Carbon monoxides etc. In the present work, the combustion chamber is designed based on the ‘Rich catalytic Lean burn’ concept. The experiments are conducted for the characteristic operating range of an existing engine. This engine has been tested successfully at Institute of Thermal Turbomachinery and Machine Dynamics (ITTM), Technical University Graz. One of the facts that the efficient combustion is a result of proper mixing of fuel-air mixture, considerable significance is given to the selection of appropriate mixer. This led to the design of three diverse configurations of mixers and is investigated experimentally and numerically. Subsequently the best mixer would be equipped in the main combustion chamber and used throughout the experimentation. Furthermore, temperatures and pressures would be recorded at various locations inside the combustion chamber and the exhaust emissions will also be analyzed. The instrumented combustion chamber would be inspected at the engine relevant inlet conditions for nine different sets of catalysts at the Hot Flow Test Facility (HFTF) of the institute.

Keywords: Hydrogen, Gas Turbine, mixer, catalytic combustion, NOx emissions

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