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Porous Media Combustors for Clean Gas Turbine Engines

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Final rept. 20 Apr 2001-30 Sep 2004

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A preliminary assessment has been made of a combustor in which the reaction is stabilized in a porous, incombustible medium. Its performance at elevated pressures and inlet temperatures has been studied with emissions and stability determined over a wide range of conditions together with the pressure loss and diffusivity of the porous matrix elements from which the combustor is made. The combustor was formed of reticulated porous ceramics, untreated to augment or sustain chemical reaction. The characteristics of combustion within porous media which are attractive in a propulsion context are the ability to burn leaner and hotter than a free flame. with low emissions, no cooling requirement for the combustor itself and the potential to operate free from combustion-induced noise. The reduced combustion loading resulting from lean burn operation is partially offset by heat transferred within the porous matrix raising the maximum reaction temperature. Data has been obtained at pressures to 1200kPa, reactant preheat to 700K, with methane, methane-hydrogen mixtures and hydrogen alone. The results show that the combustor operates in a super-adiabatic mode, with low emissions. Intrinsic pressure loss is within values commonly accepted for propulsion gas turbines. No durability problems were found, within operating durations of approximately 40 hours per matrix assembly.

Subject Categories:

  • Combustion and Ignition
  • Properties of Metals and Alloys
  • Jet and Gas Turbine Engines

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