Journal of Thermal Science

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 331–340 | Cite as

Investigation of Combustion of Emulated Biogas in a Gas Turbine Test Rig

  • Agustin Valera-MedinaEmail author
  • Anthony Giles
  • Daniel Pugh
  • Steve Morris
  • Marcel Pohl
  • Andreas Ortwein


Combustion of biogas in gas turbines is an interesting option for provision of renewable combined heat and power from biomass. Due to an increasing share of fluctuating renewable energies in the power grid (especially from wind and solar power), flexible power generation is of increasing importance. Additionally, with an increasing share of agricultural and municipal waste in biogas production, biogas composition is expected to be within a broader range.

In this paper, the combustion of synthetic biogas (carbon dioxide and methane) in a combustion test rig with a swirl burner and a high pressure optical chamber is researched at different conditions. Results are compared to a CHEMKIN-PRO simulation using a detailed reaction mechanism. The results show that within the researched experimental matrix, stable biogas combustion for gas turbines can be achieved even with significantly changing gas composition and nominal power. Carbon dioxide concentration is varied from 0 to 60%. CO concentrations (normalized to 15% O2) in the flue gas do not change significantly with increasing carbon dioxide in the fuel gas and, for the researched conditions, stayed below 10 ppm. NOx concentration is below 10 ppm (normalized to 15% O2) for pure methane, and is further decreasing with increasing carbon dioxide share in the fuel gas, which is mainly due to changing reaction paths as reaction analysis showed. Thermal load of the combustor is varied from 100% to 20% for the reference gas composition. With decreasing thermal load, normalized carbon monoxide flue gas concentration is further reduced, while NOx concentrations are remaining at a similar level around 5 ppm (normalized to 15% O2).


gas turbine biogas combustion test chemiluminescence 


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from the Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge (BRISK) 7th Framework Programme to conduct this project (ref. CFU3-01-09-15). The authors thank Terry Treherne and Jack Thomas for their invaluable contributions. The work was supported by funds of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) based on a decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agustin Valera-Medina
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anthony Giles
    • 1
  • Daniel Pugh
    • 1
  • Steve Morris
    • 1
  • Marcel Pohl
    • 2
  • Andreas Ortwein
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbHLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Hochschule Merseburg, Department Engineering and Natural SciencesMerseburgGermany

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