Effects of Syngas Composition on Combustion Induced Vortex Breakdown (CIVB) Flashback in a Swirl Stabilized Combustor
Flame flashback attributed to combustion induced vortex breakdown (CIVB) is a major design challenge for swirl stabilized burner combustors. This paper presents an experimental investigation of combustion induced vortex breakdown (CIVB) flashback propensity for flames yielded from Hydrogen (H2)–Carbon Monoxide (CO) fuel blends and actual synthesized gas (syngas) mixtures. A two-fold experimental approach, consisting of a high definition digital imaging system and a high speed PIV system, was employed. The main emphasis was on the effect of concentration of different constituents in fuel mixtures on flashback limit. In addition, the effect of Swirl Number on flashback propensity was discussed. The percentage of H2 in fuel mixtures played the dominant role when CIVB flashback occurred. For a given air mass flow rate, the mixture containing a higher percentage of H2underwent flashback at much leaner conditions. Flashback maps for actual syngas fuel compositions showed a distinct behavior when various concentrations of diluents were introduced in the mixture. For the two major diluents tested, carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), CO2 was more dominant. The effect of Swirl Number on the flashback propensity was also tested and showed a decrease with an increase in Swirl Number. The final portion of this paper also provides an analysis of flow field of reacting flames which revealed complex vortex–chemistry interactions leading to vortex breakdown and flashback. Based on the experimental results a parametric model similar to Peclet Number approach was developed employing a flame quenching concept. A value of the quench parameter, Cquench was obtained from the correlation of flow Peclet Number and flame Peclet Number, which was observed to be dominated by the fuel composition rather than Swirl Number.