Evolution of N2O production at lean combustion condition in NH3/H2/air premixed swirling flames

S. Mashruk, E. C. Okafor, M. Kovaleva, A. Alnasif, D. Pugh, A. Hayakawa, A. Valera-Medina

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10 Citations (Scopus)


In the development of ammonia - hydrogen blends as potential substitutes for fossil fuels, the retrofitting of existing devices running at very lean condition is one of the promising solutions for decarbonisation of the power sector. However, little is known about the impact of these conditions on the production of NOX, particularly N2O that is a potent greenhouse gas. Therefore, the influence of varying thermal power and Reynolds numbers on the flame and emission characteristics, especially N2O, of ammonia-hydrogen-air swirling flames has been evaluated for the first time through the use of spatially resolved OH*, NH* and NH2* chemiluminescence, spectrometry analyses and advanced emissions characterisation at a fixed lean equivalence ratio, Φ = 0.65, representative of the Dry Low NOX (DLN) approach in traditional stationary gas turbines. NO and NO2 emissions were found to be decreasing (from ∼ 5000 ppmv to ∼ 1000 ppmv; NO and from ∼ 150 ppmv to ∼ 50 ppmv; NO2) with increasing ammonia content (from 50% to 90%) in the fuel while N2O followed reverse trends (from ∼ 50 ppmv to ∼ 200 ppmv). More than 80% ammonia content in the fuel blends exhibited high amounts of unreacted ammonia fractions (∼ 100 to ∼ 1200 ppmv), which can be potentially linked to flame instability and/or low temperatures. Furthermore, any increasing or decreasing trends in NOX with ammonia fraction were made more extreme by increasing thermal power or Reynolds number due to the differences in relevant radicals (NH, OH, NH2 etc.) formation in the flames. Experimental results suggest the unviability of these blends at the conventional lean conditions utilised at the DLN power applications due to excessive NOX emissions. Detailed sensitivity analyses of N2O concentration at the flame and post flame zone has been carried out utilising Ansys Chemkin-PRO to identify and investigate the reactions responsible for N2O formation/consumption in the experimental flames. Results have identified the reaction NH + NO ↔ N2O + H as the major source of N2O production in the flame, while the reactions N2O + H ↔ N2 + OH and N2O(+M) ↔ N2 + O(+M) are responsible for N2O consumption at the post flame zone, with higher reactivity for the latter reaction at longer residence time and relatively lower temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112299
JournalCombustion and Flame
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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