Numerical optimization of nitrogen oxides (NOx) formation is an essential factor during developing low pollution combustor of gas turbine. The Computational Fluid Dynamics-Chemical Reactor Network (CFD-CRN) hybrid method has a great advantage in fast and accurate prediction of combustor NOx emissions. In this work, a hybrid CFD-CRN approach is established to predict pollutant emissions of a lean premixed model burner for gas turbine applications. Several criteria are compared for separating the combustor into chemically and physically homogeneous zones, and the crucial parameters such as residence time and flue gas recirculation ratio are calculated. The CRN model is preliminarily verified with experimental data. The effects of pressure and fuel-air unmixedness on NOx formation are subsequently investigated. In addition, the effects of changes in fuel/air flow distribution and crucial parameters of CRN model on NOx emissions are also estimated under different pressures and fuel-air unmixedness. The combustor is divided into several zones including reaction preheating region, flame front region, flame transition region, post flame region, main recirculation region and corner recirculation region based on CFD results of fuel-air mixing characteristics, velocity field, temperature field, distribution of OH mass fraction and Damkohler number. The complex CRN model has the advantage of predicting NOx emission characteristics under higher Tad conditions compared with the simple model, and its prediction of NOx emission shows good agreement with experimental data under various equivalence ratio conditions. The structure and distribution of several regions of CRN model are analogous but not significant when Reynolds number exceeds 105 under high pressure. The pathway analysis shows that the NOx emission gradually decreases through N2O and NNH mechanisms, resulted from the decreasing concentration of O radical under low Tad and high pressure. However, the pressure could significantly promote thermal NOx formation resulting form increase of temperature. The fuel-air unmixedness results in the increase of maximum flame temperature, which has significant effect on change of the CRN regions-separating. The fuel-air unmixedness causes the significant increasing of thermal NOx formation.

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