Future rich-burn/quick-quench/lean-burn (RQL) burners for aero engines face the challenge to further reduce the emission of soot. Alternative ways of fuel injection are therefore in the focus of modern RQL combustion systems. This contribution aims to investigate experimentally the influence of fuel injection on the reacting flow field, with the emphasis on soot production in the primary zone. For the test, a Rolls-Royce prototype burner was used in two different configurations which differ only in the axial location of jet in cross flow fuel injection and thereby provoke different ways of fuel atomization. In the upstream configuration the burner features characteristics of a pre-filming airblast atomizer. Whereas with the fuel tip in downstream position solely Jet-in-Cross-Flow fuel atomisation is expected. The burner was tested at realistic aero engine combustor conditions (p30 = 9.28 bar, T30 = 603 K, AFR = 7.6). Several optical measurement techniques were used to characterise the reacting flow field. Their difficult application in a rich burn environment is described briefly. The structure of the reacting flow field is illustrated by Particle-Image-Velocimetry (PIV). Planar Mie scattering and Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) are used to characterise the placement of liquid and gaseous fuel respectively. The location and structure of heat release zones are captured in terms of OH* and CO2* chemiluminescence. Finally Laser-Induced-Incandescence (LII) is used to obtain three dimensional soot distributions in the primary zone. On this basis 20% less soot was measured for the upstream configuration at the axial location of maximal soot concentration. This remarkable difference could be attributed to the different placement of liquid fuel and the resulting better mixing.

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