Hydrogen Use in CO2 Capture Technologies (HYCAP)
Project period2014 – 2018
The primary objective of the project is to focus on efficient and reliable energy conversion of hydrogen targeted to cost-reduction of the pre-combustion CO2 capture concept.
Goals of the project:
• Study a novel membrane reactor concept for H2 separation and combustion
• Develop a high-fidelity numerical design tool (LEM3D) for hydrogen-fired gas turbines and combustion applications in general
• Benchmarking and validation of LEM3D against non-reacting and reacting hydrogen jets in a cross-flow configuration
• Recruit a researcher of high-class competence into the field of combustion and CCS through planned PhD work
• Enhance the competence of Norwegian combustion scientists through extended international collaboration with world-class experts
The project work focuses on technical challenges related to optimization of combustion processes in large, state-of-the-art gas turbines for power generation. In particular, combustion of hydrogen-rich fuels for pre-combustion CO2 capture will be investigated. A novel mechanism for fuel feed (H2) into the combustion chamber has been proposed, and the work involves computational modelling of hydrogen flames coupled to the membrane surface. Another focus is investigation of hydrogen jets and jet flames in a cross-flow configuration with high relevance to the development of H2-fired gas turbines. The technical applications are followed by the development of a unique high-fidelity numerical design tool (LEM3D) for combustion applications.
The pre-combustion CO2 capture route is a promising technique for the development of efficient and cost-competitive CCS technologies. Clean, efficient and safe burning of hydrogen and H2-rich fuels is a key part of the pre-combustion CCS route. The goal of the industry is to develop new gas turbine combustors that can operate with low-carbon fuels, an achievement that will represent a considerable leap forward in environmental-friendly power generation from fossil fuels. High-fidelity and reliable numerical design tools are main keys to the development of next-generation carbon-capture technologies. The development of the novel LEM3D approach represents a promising pathway to attain the needed capability of predictive modelling of turbulent reactive flows at a computationally affordable cost.
The challenges of hydrogen combustion are linked to the particular thermo-physical properties of hydrogen compared to conventional hydrocarbons, leading to dramatically different combustion behaviour. Hence, the primary technology for low-NOx power generation in stationary gas turbines, lean premixed (LPM) combustion, is not yet developed for hydrogen combustion. Issues related to auto-ignition, flame stabilization, flashback, and NOx control need to be resolved in order to achieve a clean, efficient, and safe burning of H2-rich gases. State-of-the-art simulation tools rely on detailed modelling yet for the most part only give a bulk approximation to the fluid flow and combustion processes. Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) can provide detailed information about flow structures and turbulence-chemistry interactions but is computationally affordable only at scales much smaller than needed. Numerical design tools that provide the capability of predictive modelling of mixing and reaction at the needed scale and level of detail are therefore highly needed.
Results by October 1st, 2016:
• Stepping stones towards the development of a high-fidelity numerical design tool (LEM3D) for hydrogen-fired gas turbines:
o Integration of detailed chemistry solver into LEM3D successfully accomplished
This is a major stepping stone and milestone towards a novel simulation tool that provides detailed computations of diffusive-reactive processes in combustion applications at a relatively inexpensive computational cost
o Work on parallelization of the LEM3D code for fast and efficient computations has been initiated and is nearly completed
Though LEM3D is computationally much cheaper than comparable high-fidelity tools, a parallelized LEM3D code for efficient computations of combustion applications is highly desirable. The near-term completion will launch LEM3D into the realm of a number of interesting combustion applications.
• Some milestones and activities:
o Full implementation of CHEMKIN library into LEM3D for hydrogen combustion applications completed
o Work-in-progress poster presented at the 36th International Symposium on Combustion in Seoul, South Korea by PhD student Fredrik Grøvdal
o One-year term as visiting scholar at UC Berkeley commenced by PhD student Grøvdal (August 2016)
o Meetings and planning of PhD-student activities between UC Berkeley, NTNU and SINTEF conducted in Berkeley, Seoul and Trondheim
o Investigation of lifted turbulent hydrogen jet flames in a vitiated co-flow (Berkeley flame)
o Code-sharing and discussions with US partners targeted to the development of LEM3D
o Short-term stays at UC Berkeley by one SINTEF researcher