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Raman composition analysis of gas turbine fuel feeds 

How Raman spectroscopy helps to future-proof gas turbine fuel systems 

As the world shifts toward decarbonization, the fuel flexibility of gas turbines is being embraced as a way to reduce carbon emissions in the energy ecosystem. Modern heavy-duty industrial turbines have been designed to accept a much wider range of fuel blends. Many companies around the world are turning to gas turbine manufacturers to ask if it is possible for their existing turbine assets to burn hydrogen-rich fuels.  

Raman and mass spectrometer analysis of hydrogen spiked into a natural gas stream ©Cultura Images RF/Strandperle

Benefits at a glance 

  • Provides fast, accurate, non-destructive composition analysis of gas turbine fuel feed composition 

  • Protects and optimizes gas turbines by delivering results in time to make critical operational changes 

  • Is tailored to meet specific fuel feeds or developed to handle a wider range of fuel compositions and blends 

  • Delivers quicker updates with far higher uptime than conventional separation-based analysis methods such as GC and MS 

  • Provides future-proof measurements for carbon-free fuels, such as hydrogen and ammonia 

The challenge 

An extended evaluation of a Raman gas-phase analyzer to monitor turbine fuel feed was undertaken at a power gas turbine technology laboratory. The owner of this site typically shipped four different analyzer technologies with each turbine, including a calorimeter, a redundant pair of gas chromatographs, an oxygen analyzer, and a CO2 analyzer. 

The solution 

The Raman analyzer was integrated with the gas fuel stream by means of a bypass to a Raman fiber optic probe mounted in a simple union cross interface. Measurements were made at the fuel feed pressure of 350 psia. The mass spectrometer required sample transfer lines and sample conditioning prior to the injection port. Extensive studies of rapid transient events were undertaken with both analyzer systems.