Advanced Combustion

Investigation on Flame Characteristics and Burner Operability Issues of Oxy-Fuel Combustion
University of Texas at El Paso
Project Number: DE-FE0002402

NETL has partnered with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to investigate the characteristics of oxy-fuel flames and assess their impact on the operability of oxy-fuel combustion systems. The examination of fundamental flame characteristics data and related burner operability parameters are essential for designing and developing oxy-fuel combustion systems for new power plants and retrofitting existing power generation units. In an oxy-fuel system, coal is combusted in an enriched oxygen environment using pure oxygen diluted with recycled CO2 or water vapor (H2O), resulting in a flue stream consisting only of CO2 and H2O (no other co-contaminants) (Figure 1). Oxy-fuel combustion is promising for CCUS applications because water can be condensed out of the CO2/H2O flue stream to produce a relatively pure CO2 end product for capture. Oxy-fuel combustion and subsequent CO2 capture is currently being considered by the DOE's Innovations for Existing Plants Program as having the potential to meet the goal of 90 percent CO2 capture without increasing the cost of electricity more than 35 percent.

UTEP's project involves conducting research utilizing different oxy-fuel burner techniques and studying different combustion characteristics such as flame radiation, radiative heat release rate, burning velocities, flammability, and flame shapes of CH4 (natural gas)/O2 and H2-CO (syngas)/O2 combustion. UTEP is also systematically investigating the effects of fundamental flame characteristics on operability issues (blowout and flashback) of oxygen-fired combustors. The main goal of this project is to investigate oxy-fuel flame characteristics and assess their impact on the operability of oxy-fuel combustion systems. Measures of success include:

  • Training students in the emerging field of oxy-fuel combustion (a promising combustion and CO2 capture technique).
  • Developing a flame characteristics data set (flame radiation, radiation heat release factor, laminar and turbulent burning velocities, flame lift-off, and flame blowout) for oxy-fuel combustion.
  • Developing a burner operability-parameter data set (blowout, heat-flux contour, and flashback limit) for oxy-fuel combustion.
Schematic describing the basic oxy-combustion process.
Figure 1: Schematic describing the basic oxy-combustion process.

Related Papers and Publications:


  • For further information on this project, contact the NETL Project Manager, Bruce Lani