Rich-burn, quick-mix, lean-burn combustor with flame-assisted fuel cells

Ryan J. Milcarek, Michael J. Garrett, Jeongmin Ahn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Rich-burn, quick-mix, lean-burn (RQL) combustors have been utilized in jet engines and other applications for reduced NOx emissions. Recent innovations in the Flame-assisted Fuel Cell (FFC) place a solid oxide fuel cell in fuel-rich combustion exhaust in a dual chamber setup. The first stage, fuel-rich combustion, generates syngas for electrochemical conversion in the fuel cell. In order to utilize any remaining fuel not used in the FFC, a secondary lean-burn combustion process is needed on the FFC downstream. The concept of a combined RQL combustor with a FFC in between the fuel-rich and fuel-lean combustion processes is described in this work. Expected syngas composition from the fuel-rich combustion process is shown for methane fuel along with the fuel-lean products of combustion. Power generation from the fuel cell is demonstrated and applications in combined heat and power, trigeneration and other hybrid systems is discussed. Other applications for low NOx emissions are also described as the benefits of a traditional RQL combustor remain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2017
Event10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting - College Park, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2017Apr 26 2017


Other10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Park


  • Flame-assisted fuel cell
  • Fuel-rich combustion
  • Rich-burn quick-mix lean-burn combustor
  • Solid oxide fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering


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