The emissions of liquid-fuel fired gas turbine engines are strongly affected by the fuel preparation process that includes atomization, evaporation and mixing. In the present paper, the effects of fuel atomization and evaporation on emissions from an industrial gas turbine engine were investigated. In the engine studied, the fuel injector consists of a co-axial plain jet airblast atomizer and a premixer, which consists of a cylindrical tube with four mixing holes and swirler slits. The goal of this device is to establish a fully vaporized, homogeneous fuel/air mixture for introduction into the combustion chamber and the reaction zone. In the present study, experiments were conducted at atmospheric pressure and room temperature as well as at actual engine conditions (0.34MPa, 740K) both with and without the premixer. Measurements included visualization, droplet size and velocity. By conducting tests with and without the premixing section, the effect of the mixing holes and swirler slit design on atomization and evaporation was isolated. The results were also compared with engine data and the relationship between premixer performance and emissions was evaluated. By comparing the results of tests over a range of pressures, the viability of two scaling methods was evaluated with the conclusion that spray angle correlates with fuel to atomizing air momentum ratio. For the injector studied, however, the conditions resulting in superior atomization and vaporization did not translate into superior emissions performance. This suggests that, while atomization and the evaporation of the fuel are important in the fuel preparation process, they are of secondary importance to the fuel/air mixing prior to, and in the early stages of the reaction, in governing emissions.

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