To main content

Numerical Assessment of a Rich-Quench-Lean Staging Strategy for Clean and Efficient Combustion of Partially Decomposed Ammonia in the Constant Pressure Sequential Combustion System


In a future energy-system prospective, predictably dominated by (often) remote and (always) unsteady, non-dispatchable renewable power generation from solar and wind resources, hydrogen (H2) and ammonia (NH3) have emerged as logistically convenient, chemically-simple and carbon-free chemicals for energy transport and storage. In this context, a convenient feature of Ansaldo's Constant Pressure Sequential Combustion (CPSC) system, resulting in a fundamental advantage compared to alternative approaches, is the possibility of controlling the amount of fuel independently fed to the two combustion stages, depending on the fuel reactivity and combustion characteristics. However, ammonia combustion is governed by widely different thermo-chemical processes compared to hydrogen, requiring a considerably different approach to mitigate crucial issues with extremely low flame reactivity (blow-out) and formation of significant amounts of undesired pollutants and greenhouse gases (NOx and N2O). In this work, we present a fuel-flexible operational concept for the CPSC system and, based on unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (uRANS) and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) performed in conjunction with detailed chemical kinetics, we explore for the first time full-load operation of the CPSC architecture in a Rich-Quench-Lean (RQL) strategy applied to combustion of partially-decomposed ammonia. Results from the numerical simulations confirm the main features of ammonia-firing in RQL operation already observed from previous work on different combustion systems and suggests that the CPSC architecture has excellent potential to operate in RQL-mode with low NOx and N2O emissions and good combustion efficiency.


Academic article


  • Sigma2 / ns9121k
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 257579
  • Sigma2 / nn9527k





  • SINTEF Energy Research / Termisk energi
  • SINTEF Energy Research / Gassteknologi
  • Switzerland
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology



Published in

Journal of Engineering For Gas Turbines and Power







View this publication at Cristin