The main benefits of operating a combustor under flue gas recirculation conditions are the increase in efficiency of the post combustion carbon capture and storage process and the potential to reduce NOX emissions while keeping the thermal load of the gas turbine constant. The latter is primarily caused by the change in thermodynamic properties of the combustive mixture with increasing vitiation. As a result, the dominant NOX formation pathways change with increasing FGR ratio.

In a partially premixed combustor, the formation of NOX emissions can also be influenced by the fuel mixing behavior. Different setups lead to combustive mixtures with different degrees of homogeneity as well as influencing the distribution of the mixture within the combustion chamber.

In this paper the combined effects of the variation of mixture homogeneity and the flue gas recirculation ratio on the NOX emissions and the stability range is experimentally investigated for different fuel gases. The experiments are performed on the atmospheric laboratory test rig, which is equipped with a partially premixed combustor. The burner is equipped with modular fuel gas nozzles allowing for the variation of the fuel mixing behavior. Exhaust gas measurements are performed to evaluate the influence of the parameters on the emissions profile of the combustor and to compare the results to a theoretical study.

The results of this study show that the level of nitric oxide emissions as well as the potential to decrease said emissions with FGR operation is dependent on the mixing behavior of the combustor. Furthermore, the combined effects of fuel gas nozzle and FGR operation lead to a proposal of an operational strategy for the combustor which combines the advantages of low nitric oxide emissions and a broad range of stability.

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