Low NOx combustion utilising a Coanda ejector burner
Current and future pollutant enussion legislation calls for decreased NOx emissions from combustion systems. A review of techniques used for NOx abatement led to the choice of combustor redesign to be the most cost effective method available. This led to the design, construction and development of a combustion system that utilised a Coanda ejector to generate recirculation of the exiting high temperature combustion products to mix with the air supply. Cooling of the burner was integrated into the design through the use of the air and fuel supplies. Computational fluid dynamics was used to model and aid development of the design. The model was used to predict NOx and CO emissions and the fuel-air mixing pattern. This, along with an analysis of experimental results and observations led to an understanding of the burner operation with respect to pollutant emissions and stability. NOx emissions from the Coanda burner were found to be lowest when using a 0.2 mm Coanda gap width, resulting in 16 ppm NOx being emitted at an air to fuel ratio of 1.5. However, the use ofa 0.2 mm Coanda gap width required an air supply pressure of up to 4 bar. The use of a 0.5 mm Coanda gap width enabled burner operation at lower air supply pressures. The resulting NOx emissions were measured as 23 ppm at an air to fuel ratio of 1.I, with a corresponding exit gas temperature of 2200 K. Flue gas recirculation quantity, flame stability, flame stabiliser shape and operational limits proved to be inter-linked in the reduction of NOx emissions. It was found that fuel-air mixing was controlled by the entrainment properties of the Coanda ejector and the flame stabiliser. The average oxygen concentration entering the combustion chamber when using a 0.2 mm and 0.5 mm Coanda gap width was 13.7 % and 16.6 %, respectively. Due to the position of the fuel injector, a fuel rich region formed behind the flame stabiliser. With a suitable flame stabiliser geometry and the use of 'fingers', low NOx combustion and flame stability was achieved near stoichiometric conditions. It was shown that the design of the burner enabled very low pollutant emissions near stoichiometric conditions, resulting in high exit gas temperatures. Conceivable applications of this type of burner could lie in small and intermediate furnaces where low NOx emissions are required. Additionally, very high temperature applications, such as glass furnaces could benefit in both cost and pollutant emissions from such a burner.