Testing of a Small Combustion Turbine Burning Reformed Methanol

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


As part of ongoing research into high efficiency alcohol fuels utilization at the Solar Energy Research Institute, a gas combustion turbine was modified for use with reformed methanol and tested. The reforming process for this application uses waste engine heat to convert methanol and steam in the presence of a catalyst into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. We modified the standard combustor of aGarrett Model GTCP85-397 combustion turbine to burn the hydrogen and carbon dioxide mixture. Heat exchangers to boil and reform a methanol and water mixture were sized, purchased, and connected to the turbine exhaust. Instrumentation was added to monitor turbine temperatures, pressures, and exhaust emissions. Turbine performance and emissions were measured at various loads with a distillate fueland compared with performance on reformed methanol. Reformed alcohol yields a significant improvement in efficiency because waste heat is reclaimed as chemical energy in the fuel. The larger mass flowrate of fuel to the combustor increases power output, and emissions are substantially reduced.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 1984

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-232-2240


  • alcohol fuels utilization
  • gas combustion turbine
  • reformed methanol


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