Use of DME as a Gas Turbine Fuel
Volume 2: Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Combustion and Fuels; Oil and Gas Applications; Cycle Innovations
A new, ultra-clean fuel for gas turbines -a blend consisting primarily of dimethyl ether (DME) with lesser amounts of methanol and water -has been identified by BP. This fuel, containing no metals, sulfur and aromatics, burns like natural gas and it can be handled like LPG. The turbine-grade DME fuel can be manufactured from natural gas, coal and other hydrocarbon or biomass feedstocks. High-purity DME, manufactured from methanol, is currently used as an aerosol propellant due to its
... e to its environmentally benign characteristics. Fuel-grade DME is used commercially as a LPG-substitute in China. BP initiated key programs to test various fuel mixtures containing DME in General Electric test combustors with equivalent electricity production of nearly 16 MW. Later, BP collaborated with EPDC (Electric Power Development Corporation, Japan) to conduct additional follow-up tests. These tests show that DME is an excellent gas turbine fuel with emissions properties comparable to natural gas. Based on the results of the BP/GE combustion test programs, GE is prepared to pursue commercial offers of DME-fired E class and F class heavy duty gas turbines. BP is currently working with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and the Indian Institute of Petroleum to evaluate the potential of DME as a multi-purpose fuel for India. In June 2000, the India Ministry of Power issued a notification permitting the use of DME as a fuel for power generation subject to its meeting all the environmental and pollution regulations. This paper presents key gas turbine combustor test results and discusses how DME can be used as a fuel in gas turbines.