New Burner Systems for Decentralised Utilisation of Low-calorific Gases in Micro Gas Turbines (MGT)

Project Number 224

Before the background of intensified preservation of resources and sustained climate and environment protection, the utilisation of combustible gases with very low calorific value is increasingly gaining significance. Especially decentralised gas sources of low calorific value geographically scattered because of their origins such as biogases from fermentation systems, landfills and mines and also product gases of biomass pyrolysis and biomass gasification and waste gases from production processes containing hydrocarbons must be increasingly integrated in the conversion of energy under the terms of sustainable development.

While such utilisation has meanwhile been accomplished and also become economically attractive for combustible gases with methane contents above 30 % by volume, this has not materialised so far for the low calorific combustible gases with CH4 contents < 30 %, which are available in large quantities. The purpose of the research project therefore is the realisation of a new burner/combustion chamber system for converting these low calorific gases into electric power using micro gas turbines.

To this end the plan is to replace current pre-mixing burners with a new combustion technology to be derived from the combustion techniques of flameless oxidation (FLOX) and the continuous air staging (COSTAIR) tested for atmospheric conditions.

The research results are aimed at eliminating the disadvantages of pre-mixing combustion in micro gas turbines through the new combustion technology. Expectations are safe ignition of the mentioned low calorific gases and stable combustion over a wide range of air ratios with largely suppressed pollutant emission, especially in the part load range, and improvement of operational safety, especially the avoidance of acoustic pulsations and flashback. These advantages are aimed at benefiting medium and small operators of micro gas turbines, offering them new perspectives for the more efficient use of energy.

The project is conducted by the Gaswärme Institut e. V., Essen (project management: Dr. A. Al-Halbouni), and the chair for energy systems and energy process technology of the Bochum University (project management: Dr. S. Wirtz) during the period from March 2002 to February 2004. The project is technically supported by VGB PowerTech e. V. through co-operation in the project committee. The project is subsidised from funds of the BMWA by way of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen (AiF).

A demonstration project is planned after completion of the R&D project, which has already aroused interest in industrial circles.