This work produced the retrofit of an air-fired, 150 kW reactor for oxy-combustion which was then used in three oxy-combustion studies: strategic oxy-combustion design, oxy-combustion of petroleum coke, and air versus oxy-combustion radiative heat flux measurements. The oxy-combustion retrofit was accomplished using a system of mass flow controllers and automated pressure switches which allowed safe and convenient operation. The system was used successfully in the three studies reported here and was also used in an unrelated study. A study was completed where a novel high oxygen participation burner was investigated for performance while burning coal related to flame stability, NO, and burnout using a burner supplied by Air Liquide. Parameters investigated included oxygen (O2) injection location, burner swirl number and secondary carbon dioxide (CO2) flow rate. The data showed swirl can be used to stabilize the flame while reducing NO and improving burnout. Center O2 injection helped to stabilize the flame but increased NO formation and decreased burnout by reducing particle residence time. Additional CO2 flow lifted the flame and increased NO but was beneficial for burnout. High O2 concentrations up to 100% in the secondary were accomplished without damage to the burner. Petroleum coke was successfully burned using the Air Liquide burner. Swirl of the secondary air and O2 injection into the center tube of the burner were needed to stabilize the flame. Trends in the data similar to those reported for the coal study are apparent. Axial total radiant intensity profiles were obtained for air combustion and three oxy-combustion operating conditions that used hot recycled flue gas in the secondary stream. The oxygen concentration of the oxidizer stream was increased from 25 to 35% O2 by decreasing the flow rate of recycled flue gas. The decrease in secondary flow rate decreased the secondary velocity, overall swirl, and mixing which elongated the flame. Changing from air to neat CO2 as the coal carrier gas also decreased premixing which elongated the flame. Flame elongation caused increased total heat transfer from the flame. The air flame was short and had a higher intensity near the burner, while high O2 concentration conditions produced lower intensities near the burner but higher intensities and temperatures farther downstream. It was shown that oxycombustion can change flame shape, temperature and soot concentration all influencing heat transfer. Differences in gas emission appear negligible in comparison to changes in particle emission.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





coal combustion, petroleum coke, NO, burnout, flame temperature, emissivity, oxy-combustion, neat oxygen, radiation