The replacement of hydrocarbon fuels by ammonia in industrial systems is challenging due to its low burning velocity, its narrow flammability range, and a large production of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide when burned close to stoichiometric conditions. Cracking a fraction of ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen prior to injection in the combustion chamber is considered a promising strategy to overcome these issues. This paper focuses on evaluating how different levels of ammonia cracking affect the overall burning velocity, the lean blow-off limit, the concentration of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, and the flame response to acoustic perturbations. Swirl stabilized premixed flames of pure ammonia–air and ammonia–hydrogen–nitrogen–air mixtures mimicking 10%, 20%, and 28% of cracking are experimentally investigated. The results show that even though ammonia cracking is beneficial for enhancing the lean blow-off limit and the overall burning velocity, its impact on pollutant emissions and flame stability is detrimental for a percentage of cracking as low as 20%. Based on an analysis of the flame dynamics, reasons for these results are proposed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)