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The Impact of Hydrogen Admixture into Natural Gas on Residential and Commercial Gas Appliances


Hydrogen as a carbon-free fuel is commonly expected to play a major role in future energy supply, e.g., as an admixture gas in natural gas grids. Which impacts on residential and commercial gas appliances can be expected due to the significantly different physical and chemical properties of hydrogen-enriched natural gas? This paper analyses and discusses blends of hydrogen and natural gas from the perspective of combustion science. The admixture of hydrogen into natural gas changes the properties of the fuel gas. Depending on the combustion system, burner design and other boundary conditions, these changes may cause higher combustion temperatures and laminar combustion velocities, while changing flame positions and shapes are also to be expected. For appliances that are designed for natural gas, these effects may cause risk of flashback, reduced operational safety, material deterioration, higher nitrogen oxides emissions (NOx), and efficiency losses. Theoretical considerations and first measurements indicate that the effects of hydrogen admixture on combustion temperatures and the laminar combustion velocities are often largely mitigated by a shift towards higher air excess ratios in the absence of combustion control systems, but also that common combustion control technologies may be unable to react properly to the presence of hydrogen in the fuel.

Funding source: This research was funded by Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No. 874983. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe research.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Denmark ; France ; Germany

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