Effects of Alternative Fuels and Aromatics on Gas-Turbine Particle Emissions

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Kenneth Lee Thornhill II1, Richard Moore2, Edward Winstead1, Bruce E Anderson2, Jennifer L Klettlinger3, Raymond C Ross3 and Angela Surgenor3, (1)Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Hampton, Hampton, VA, United States, (2)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (3)NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States
This presentation describes experiments conducted with a Honeywell GTCP36-150 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to evaluate the effects of varying fuel composition on particle emissions. The APU uses a single-stage compressor stage, gas turbine engine with a can-type combustor to generate bypass flow and electrical power for supporting small aircraft and helicopters. It is installed in a “hush-house” at NASA Glenn Research Center and is configured as a stand-alone unit that can be fueled from an onboard tank or external supply. It operates at constant RPM, but its fuel flow can be varied by changing the electrical load or volume of bypass flow. For these tests, an external bank of resistors were attached to the APU’s DC and AC electrical outlets and emissions measurements were made at low, medium and maximum electrical current loads. Exhaust samples were drawn from several points downstream in the exhaust duct and fed to an extensive suite of gas and aerosol sensors installed within a mobile laboratory parked nearby. Aromatic- and sulfur-free synthetic kerosenes from Rentech, Gevo, UOP, Amyris and Sasol were tested and their potential to reduce PM emissions evaluated against a single Jet A1 base fuel. The role of aromatic compounds in regulating soot emissions was also evaluated by adding metered amounts of aromatic blends (Aro-100, AF-Blend, SAK) and pure compounds (tetracontane and 1-methylnaphthalene) to a base alternative fuel (Sasol). Results show that, relative to Jet A1, alternative fuels reduce nonvolatile particle number emissions by 50-80% and--by virtue of producing much smaller particles—mass emissions by 65-90%; fuels with the highest hydrogen content produced the greatest reductions. Nonvolatile particle emissions varied in proportion to fuel aromatic content, with additives containing the most complex ring structures producing the greatest emission enhancements.