Gas Turbine Fuel Flexibility

Current gas turbine technology for power and heat generation is generally optimized for natural gas. This is a well developed and efficient conversion technology, producing low NOx emission levels.

The challenge of global climate change has become incontestable, which calls for a drastic reduction of CO2 emissions in the coming decades. Carbon Capture and Storage ( CCS) has evolved as a promising technology to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. However, pre-combustion CO2 capture requires the combustion of hydrogen-rich fuels in gas turbines. In addition, energy security considerations in Europe urge stakeholders to increase the use of indigenous fuel sources like coal, biomass and various blends of alternative fuels with natural gas. This requires an increased fuel flexibility of gas turbines. Some technologies developed by gas turbine manufacturers currently allow for a small percentage of syngas to be mixed with natural gas or rely on special purpose designed gas turbine products capable of operating on (highly) diluted syngas. However, there are no generally available low-emission technologies to enable operation with undiluted hydrogen-rich syngas. In order to contribute viable solutions to energy supply and green-house-gas (GHG) emission reduction, further gas turbine research and demonstration is essential for these kinds of fuel gases.

In this paper, fundamental aspects that need to be addressed are highlighted in order to operate gas turbines in an efficient, safe, reliable and environmental friendly manner utilising hydrogen-rich syngas from coal or biomass.

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