Effect of Operating Variables on Pollutant Emissions from Aircraft Turbine Engine Combustors

  • J. S. Grobman


The purpose of this paper is to review NASA-Lewis combustor research aimed at reducing exhaust emissions from jet aircraft engines. Experimental results of tests performed on both conventional and experimental combustors over a range of inlet total pressure, inlet total temperature, reference velocity, and fuel-air ratio are presented to demonstrate the effect of operating variables on pollutant emissions. Combustor design techniques to reduce emissions are discussed. Improving fuel atomization by using an air-assist fuel nozzle has been shown to significantly reduce hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions during idle. A short-length annular swirl-can combustor has demonstrated a significant reduction in nitric oxide (NO) emissions compared to a conventional combustor operating at similar conditions. The use of diffuser wall bleed to provide variable control of combustor airflow distribution may enable the achievement of reduced emissions without compromising combustor performance.


Combustion Efficiency Reference Velocity Primary Zone Emission Index Fuel Atomization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bristol, C. W. Jr., “Gas Turbine Engine Emission Characteristics and Future Outlook.” Proceedings of the SAE-DOT Conference on Aircraft and the Environment. Part 1. SAE, 1971, pp. 84–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sawyer, R. F., “Fundamental Processes Controlling the Air Pollution Emissions from Turbojet Engines.” Paper 69–1040, AIAA, Oct. 1969.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anon., “Smoke Emission Control.” ESSO Air World, vol. 23, no. 1, 1970.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Grobman, Jack; Jones, Robert E.; Marek, Cecil J.; and Niedzwiecki, Richard W., “Combustion.” Aircraft Propulsion. NASA SP-259, 1971, pp. 97–134.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grobman, Jack and Papathakos, Leonidas C., “Smoke Evaluation of a Modified J-57 Combustor.” NASA TM X-2236, 1971.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Briehl, Daniel and Papathakos, Leonidas, “Use of an Air-Assist Fuel Nozzle to Reduce Exhaust Emissions from a Gas-Turbine Combustor at Simulated Idle Conditions.” NASA TN D-6404, 1971.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Briehl, Daniel; Papathakos, Leonidas; and Strancar, Richard, “Comparison of Exhaust Emission Measurements from a Gas Turbine Combustor at Varying Operating Conditions.” Proposed NASA Technical Note.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Niedzwiecki, Richard W.; Juhasz, Albert J.; and Anderson, David N., “Performance of a Swirl-Can Primary Combustor to Outlet Temperatures of 3600°F (2256 K).” NASA TM X-52902, 1970.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Niedzwiecki, Richard W.; Trout, Arthur M.; and Gustke, Eric T., “Exhaust Emissions of a Swirl-Can Primary Combustor.” Proposed NASA Technical Memorandum.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Norgren, Carl T., “Determination of Primary Zone Smoke Concentrations from Spectral Radiance Measurements in Gas Turbine Combustors.” NASA TN D-6410, 1971.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ingebo, Robert; Doskocil, Albert; and Norgren, Carl T., “High Pressure Performance of Combustor Segments Utilizing Pressure-Atomizing Fuel Nozzles and Air Swirlers for Primary-Zone Mixing.” Proposed NASA TN.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Juhasz, Albert; and Holdeman, James, “Preliminary Investigation of Diffuser Wall Bleed to Control Combustor Inlet Airflow Distribution.” NASA TN D-6435, 1971.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Butze, Helmut F. and Grobman, Jack, “Progress in Reducing Exhaust Pollutants from Jet Aircraft.” Presented at NASA Aircraft Safety and Operating Problems Conference, Langley Research Center, May 4–6, 1971.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Saltzman, Bernard E., “Colorimetric Microdetermination of Nitrogen Dioxide in the Atmosphere.” Anal. Chem., vol. 26, no. 12, Dec. 1954, pp. 1949–1955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Anon., “Aircraft Gas Turbine Exhaust Smoke Measurement.” Aerospace Recommended Practice 1179, SAE, May 1970.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    LeRoy, Milton J. Jr., “Evaluation of a Fluidic Oscillator as a Molecular-Weight Sensor for Gas Mixtures.” NASA TM X-1698, 1968.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    LeRoy, Milton J., Jr., and Gorland, Sol H., “Sensing Molecular Weights of Gases with a Fluidic Oscillator.” NASA TM X-1939, 1970.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Childs, J. Howard; Reynolds, Thaine W.; and Graves, Charles C., “Relation of Turbojet and Ramjet Combustion Efficiency to Second-Order Reaction Kinetics and Fundamental Flame Speed.” NACA Rep. 1334, 1957.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cornelius, Walter and Wade, Wallace R., “The Formation and Control of Nitric Oxide in a Regenerative Gas Turbine Burner.” Paper 700708, SAE, Sept. 1970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Champagne, D. L., “Standard Measurement of Aircraft Turbine Engine Exhaust Smoke.” Paper 71-GT-88, ASME, Mar. 1971.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Durrant, T., “The Control of Atmospheric Pollution from Gas Turbine Engines.” Rolls-Royce J., no. 2, 1968, pp. 12–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bahr, D. W.; Smith, J. R.; and Kenworthy, M. J., “Development of Low Smoke Emission Combustors for Large Aircraft Turbine Engines.” Paper 69–493, AIAA, June 1969.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Durrant, T., “The Reduction of Smoke from Gas Turbine Engines.” Aircraft Eng., vol. 41, no. 7, July 1969, pp. 28–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Faitani, J. J., “Smoke Reduction in Jet Engines Through Burner Design.” Esso Air World, vol. 21, Sept.–Oct. 1968, pp. 34–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gleason, J. G. and Faitani, J. J., “Smoke Abatement in Gas Turbine Engines Through Combustor Design.” Paper 670200, SAE, Feb. 1967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Toone, B., “A Review of Aero Engine Smoke Emission. Combustion in Advanced Gas Turbine Systems.” I. E. Smith, ed., Pergamon Press, 1968, pp. 271–296.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Taylor, W. G.; Davis, F. F., Jr.; Decorso, S. M.; Hussey, C. E.;and Ambrose, M. J., “Reducing Smoke from Gas Turbines.” Mech. Eng., vol. 90, no. 7, July 1968, pp. 29–35.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Linden, Lawrence H. and Heywood, John B., “Smoke Emissions from Jet Engines.” Rep. 70–12, Massachusetts Inst. Tech., Oct. 1970.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bagnetto, Lucien, “Smoke Abatement in Gas Turbines.” Part II: Effects of Fuels, Additives, and Operating Conditions on Smoke Emissions and Flame Radiation. Rep. 5127–68, pt. 2, Phillips Petroleum Co., Sept. 1968. (Available from DDC as AD-842818.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Grobman
    • 1
  1. 1.NASA — Lewis Research CenterClevelandUSA

Personalised recommendations