One of the main concerns regarding ammonia combustion is its tendency to yield high nitric oxide (NO) emissions. Burning ammonia under slightly rich conditions reduces the NO mole fraction to a low level, but the penalties are poor combustion efficiency and unburnt ammonia. As an alternative solution, this paper reports the experimental investigation of premixed swirl flames fueled with ammonia-hydrogen mixtures under very-lean to stoichiometric conditions. A gas analyzer was used to measure the NO mole fraction in the flame and post flame regions, and it was found that low NO emissions (as low as 100 ppm) in the exhaust were achieved under very lean conditions (ϕ ≈ 0.40). Low NO emission was also possible at higher equivalence ratios, e.g. ϕ = 0.65, for very large ammonia fuel fractions (XNH3 > 0.90). 1-D flame simulations were performed to elaborate on experimental findings and clarify the observations of the chemical kinetics. In addition, images of OH* chemiluminescence intensity were captured to identify the flame structure. It was found that, for some conditions, the OH* chemiluminescence intensity can be used as a proxy for the NO mole fraction. A monotonic relationship was discovered between OH* chemiluminescence intensities and NO mole fraction for a wide range of ammonia-hydrogen blends (0.40 < ϕ < 0.90 and 0.25 < XNH3 < 0.90), making it possible to use the low-cost OH* chemiluminescence technique to qualify NO emission of flames fueled with hydrogen-enriched ammonia blends.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Research reported in this paper was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Our thanks to Dr. Y. Li for his assistance with 1-D laminar flame computations.