Catalytic combustion is a relatively new method of avoiding nitric oxide formation in gas turbine combustors. The goal of the catalytic combustion program at Berkeley is the development of a numerical model that can predict the performance of catalytic combustors in gas turbine applications. Catalytic reactors have been constructed to provide experimental data for comparison with model results.
The picture below is of a reactor undergoing Hydrogen Assisted Catalytic Combustion of Methane on Platinum at low pressure. The catalytic combustor does have the capability to operate at high pressure. The glowing wafers are characteristic of a high fuel conversion rate. Issues of investigation are the effects of pressure, reactant temperature and reactant composition on the rate of fuel oxidation.This project is a collaboration with researchers from the University of Heidelberg and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Adsorption of Reactants
Surface Reactions and Desorption of Products
Surface Reaction Model
A picture is shown below of a low pressure catalytic combustor made of quartz. The catalyst has been sliced into wafers to allow temperature and species measurements along the catalyst.