A significant problem encountered in the gas turbine industry with fuel products is the degradation of fuel and fuel systems by micro-organisms, which are largely bacteria, embedded in biofilms. These micro-organisms cause system fouling and other degradatory effects, extending often to sudden failure of components with cost implications. Current methods of assessment are only postimpact evaluation and do not necessarily quantify the effects of fuel degradation on engine performance and emission. Therefore, effective models that allow predictive condition monitoring are required for engine's fuel system reliability, especially with readily biodegradable biofuels. The aim of this paper is to introduce the concept of biofouling in gas turbines and the development of a biomathematical model with potentials to predict the extent and assess the effects of microbial growth in fuel systems. The tool takes into account mass balance stoichiometry equations of major biological processes in fuel biofouling. Further development, optimization, and integration with existing Cranfield in-house simulation tools will be carried out to assess the overall engine performance and emission characteristics. This new tool is important for engineering design decision, optimization processes, and analysis of microbial fuel degradation in gas turbine fuels and fuel systems.
- gas turbine system
- predictive condition monitoring