DLR/Lufthansa release high blend-level AJF study

16 June 2017—The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Lufthansa Technik have produced a study on the performance and fit-for-purpose testing of high blend alternative jet fuels (AJF). Fuels from six different pathways were analyzed, including coal-to-liquid (CTL) from Sasol, hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) from UOP, synthetic isoparaffinic kerosene (SIP) from Amyris, isobutanol-based alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) from Gevo, ATJ-synthetic kerosene with aromatics (SKA) from Swedish Biofuels, and catalytic hydrothermolysis (CH) fuel from ARA. Testing was performed on a disconnected aero-engine as a part of a special testing rig provided by Lufthansa Technik. This study found that CH fuel, which includes aromatics, performed similarly to conventional kerosene with regard to elastomer seal swell, unlike aromatic-free AJF. The study also showed that complete synthetic jet fuel with aromatics, such as CH, shows no change in particulate or other emissions relative to petroleum-based fuel, whereas AJF without aromatics shows a reduction in particulates. The team identifies this tradeoff of seal swell versus emissions as one that the aviation sector can now explicitly optimize with alternative jet fuels, rather than being constrained to dealing with the level of aromatics in petroleum-based fuels. Currently, high blend level SAJF has not been certified by ASTM, but researchers at DLR are excited about prospects to reduce the carbon footprint by diverting from traditional fossil fuels.

To read more, here is the full report.

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