A combustor for burning a mixture of fuel and air in a rich combustion zone, in which the fuel bound nitrogen in converted to molecular nitrogen. The fuel rich combustion is followed by lean combustion. The products of combustion from the lean combustion are rapidly quenched so as to convert the fuel bound nitrogen to molecular nitrogen without forming NOx. The combustor has an air radial swirler that directs the air radially inward while swirling it in the circumferential direction and a radial fuel swirler that directs the fuel radially outward while swirling it in the same circumferential direction, thereby promoting vigorous mixing of the fuel and air. The air inlet has a variable flow area that is responsive to variations in the heating value of the fuel, which may be a coal-derived fuel gas. A diverging passage in the combustor in front of a bluff body causes the fuel/air mixture to recirculate with the rich combustion zone.
REFERENCE TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
Development for this invention was supported in part by U.S. Department of Energy contract DE-AC21-86MC21023. Accordingly, the United States government may have certain rights in the invention.