Influence of wall heat loss on the emission characteristics of premixed ammonia-air swirling flames interacting with the combustor wall

Ekenechukwu C. Okafor, Masaaki Tsukamoto, Akihiro Hayakawa, Kunkuma A. Somarathne, Taku Kudo, Taku Tsujimura, Hideaki Kobayashi

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The influence of wall heat loss on the emission characteristics of ammonia-air swirling flames was studied using planar laser-induced fluorescence imaging of OH radicals and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry of the exhaust gases in combustors with insulated and uninsulated walls over a range of equivalence ratios, Φ, and pressures up to 0.5 MPa. Strong influence of wall heat loss on the flames led to quenching of the flame front near the combustor wall at 0.1 MPa, resulting in large unburned NH3 emissions, and inhibited the stabilization of flames in the outer recirculating zone (ORZ). A decrease in heat loss effects with an increase in pressure promoted extension of the fuel-rich stabilization limit due to increased recirculation of H2 from NH3 decomposition in the ORZ. The influence of wall heat loss resulted in emission trends that contradict already reported trends in literature. NO emissions were substantially low while unburned NH3 and N2O emissions were high at fuel-lean conditions during single-stage combustion, with values such as 55 ppmv of NO, 580 ppmv of N2O and 4457 ppmv of NH3 at Φ = 0.8. The response of the flame to wall heat loss as pressure increased was more important than the effects of pressure on fuel-NO emission, thereby leading to an increase in NO emission with pressure. A reduction in wall heat loss or a sufficiently long fluid residence time in the primary combustion zone was necessary for efficient control of NH3 and N2O emissions in two-stage rich-lean ammonia combustors, the latter being more effective for N2O in addition to NO control. The results show that the influence of wall heat loss should not be ignored in emissions measurements in NH3-air combustion, and also advance the understanding of previous studies on ammonia micro gas turbines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5139-5146
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event38th International Symposium on Combustion, 2021 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: Jan 24 2021Jan 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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