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Fuel Testing Approaches for Rapid Jet Fuel Prescreening

Project Number: 065a
Category: Alternative Fuels

This task will establish a tiered prescreening process for new alternative jet fuels to obtain approval through ASTM International. All jet fuel is required to meet ASTM standards to ensure they are safe for use in airframe and fueling systems. There is considerable uncertainty for alternative jet fuel producers regarding the timeframe and amount of fuel required to obtain ASTM approval. This prescreening process, although not formally part of the ASTM approval and evaluation process, can be used to inform alternative fuel producers prior to entering the ASTM D4054 qualification process by providing early indications of blend limits and operability challenges with their fuel. Based on previous ASCENT work, the research team proposed a three-tiered prescreening approach requiring significantly reduced fuel volumes, (i.e., a few gallons of fuel as opposed to roughly a hundred gallons). Specifically, ASCENT P065a will develop two tiers of prescreening evaluation, with ASCENT P065b focusing on a third (M1 combustor evaluation). These novel testing approaches can then be used both in current pre-screening activities.

Specifically, ASCENT P065a will focus on further developing tier α and β  test methods which can help minimize the fuel volume needed for testing and improve a fuels potential for meeting ASTM approval criteria. Tier α refers to low-volume analytical testing approaches (i.e., GCxGC, NMR, and IR analytical testing). Tier β tests focus on testing the physical and chemical properties rather than predicting those key properties from GCxGC methods.  Tier β testing, as a result, requires additional fuel volume beyond Tier α.

Outcomes

A tiered prescreening process for new alternative jet fuels using low fuel volumes that will improve the potential for meeting ASTM approval criteria. This work lowers the TRL at which meaningful information can be provided to fuel producers, while simultaneously strengthening their readiness for the approval process.

Lead Investigators

Program Managers