Ash Deposition, Gas Turbine, Deposition


Ash deposits from four candidate power turbine synfuels were studied in an accelerated deposition test facility. The facility matches the gas temperature and velocity of modern first-stage high-pressure turbine vanes. A natural gas combustor was seeded with finely ground fuel ash particulate from four different fuels: straw, sawdust, coal, and petroleum coke. The entrained ash particles were accelerated to a combustor exit flow Mach number of 0.31 before impinging on a thermal barrier coating (TBC) target coupon at 1150°C. Postexposure analyses included surface topography, scanning electron microscopy, and x-ray spectroscopy. Due to significant differences in the chemical composition of the various fuel ash samples, deposit thickness and structure vary considerably for each fuel. Biomass products (e.g., sawdust and straw) are significantly less prone to deposition than coal and petcoke for the same particle loading conditions. In a test simulating one turbine operating year at a moderate particulate loading of 0.02 parts per million by weight, deposit thickness from coal and petcoke ash exceeded 1 and 2 mm, respectively. These large deposits from coal and petcoke were found to detach readily from the turbine material with thermal cycling and handling. The smaller biomass deposit samples showed greater tenacity in adhering to the TBC surface. In all cases, corrosive elements (e.g., Na, K, V, Cl, S) were found to penetrate the TBC layer during the accelerated deposition test. Implications for the power generation goal of fuel flexibility are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Bons, J. P., J. Crosby, J. E. Wammack, B. I. Bentley, and T. H. Fletcher, “High pressure Turbine Deposition in Land Based Gas Turbines from Various Synfuels,” ASME Journal for Gas Turbines and Power, 129, 135-143 (2007).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date







Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor