Secondary atomization of coal-water fuels for gas turbine applications
Author(s)Yu, T. U.; Beer, J.M.
The main research objective is to determine the effect of coal-water fuel (CWF) treatment on atomization quality when applied to an ultrafine coal water fuel (solids loading - 50%) and at elevated pressures. The fuel treatment techniques are expected to produce secondary atomization, i.e., disruptive shattering of CWF droplets subsequent to their leaving the atomizing nozzle. Upon combustion, the finer fuel droplets would then yield better burnout and finer fly ash size distribution, which in turn could reduce problems of turbine blade erosion. The parallel objective was to present quantitative information on the spray characteristics of CWF (average droplet size and spray shape and angle) with and without fuel treatment for purposes of application to the design of CWF-burning gas turbine combustors. The experiments include laser diffraction droplet size measurements and high speed photographic studies of CWF sprays in the MIT Spray Test Facility to determine mean droplet size (mass median diameter), droplet size distribution, and spray shape and angle. For the spray tests at elevated pressures, pressure vessels were constructed and installed in the spray test rig. For support of data analyses, a capillary tube viscometer was used to measure the CWF viscosity at the high shear rate that occurs in an atomizer (> 104 sec' ). A semi-empirical relationship was developed giving the CWF spray droplet size as a function of the characteristic dimensionless parameters of twin-fluid atomization, including the Weber number, the Reynolds number, and the air-to-fuel mass flow ratio. The correlation was tested experimentally and good agreement was found between calculated and measured drop sizes when the high shear viscosity of the CWF was used in the semi-empirical equation. Water and CWF spray tests at elevated pressure were made. Average droplet sizes measured as a function of atomizing air-to-fuel ratios (AFRs) at various chamber pressures show that the droplet mass median diameter (MMD) decreases with increasing AFR at a given chamber pressure and increases with increasing chamber pressure at a given AFR. In particular, the results show that droplet sizes of CWF sprays decrease with increasing chamber pressure if the atomizing air velocity is held constant. Of the fuel treatment techniques investigated, the heating of CWF (flash-atomization) was found to be very effective in reducing droplet size, not only at atmospheric pressure but also at elevated pressure. Secondary atomization by C02 absorption (used in a previous study) had given favorable results on CWF combustion, but in this present case this fuel treatment did not seem to have any observable effect on the drop size distribution of the CWF spray at room temperature. The spray angle was observed to reduce with increasing chamber pressure for given atomizing conditions (AFR, fuel flow rate, fuel temperature). The decreasing entrainment rate per unit length of spray with increasing chamber pressure was mainly responsible for the reduction of the spray angle. The heating of the CWF increased the spray angle, both at atmospheric and elevated pressures. A model was developed to predict spray angle change for the effects of the flash-atomization as a function of AFR, fuel flow rate, and the superheat of the water.
MIT Energy Lab