This project focuses on testing alternative jet fuels for properties and combustion performance. To do this, each proposed alternative jet fuel will undergo rigorous testing to meet ASTM International specifications. Most alternative fuels undergo a final processing step in which residual oxygen in the fuel is removed via catalytic treatment with hydrogen. In theory, this step can sometimes not be complete and some oxygen remains in the fuel.
Researchers will address two questions. First, what kind of oxygenated functional groups are left after partial hydrogenation? Second, how do these oxygenates influence fuel properties and combustion performance that are important to the ASTM specifications, such as water content, acidity, viscosity, flash point, cloud point, flame lean blow-out point, NOx emissions from combustion, and soot emissions from combustion?
If this project’s results confirm some of the oxygenated molecules left in alternative jet fuel adversely affect properties and performance, it could guide the development of more selective hydrotreatment processes for the removal of these molecules.