Fuel structure effects on surrogate alternative jet fuel emission


Giacomo Flora

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Advisor: Sukh S. Sidhu


The emergence of alternative jet fuels has opened new challenges for the selection of practical alternatives that minimize the emissions and are suitable for existing gas turbine engines. Alternative jet fuels are in the early stages of development, and little fundamental emissions data are currently available. An accurate knowledge of their combustion behavior is highly important for a proper fuel selection based on emissions.This dissertation work investigated the oxidation of different alternative fuel surrogates composed of binary mixtures in order to correlate fuel composition with emissions. The proposed surrogate mixtures included n-dodecane/n-heptane (47.5/52.5 by liq. vol.), n-dodecane/iso-octane (47.9/52.1 by liq, vol.), n-dodecane/methylcyclohexane (49/51 by liq. vol.) and n-dodecane/m-xylene (75/25 by liq. vol.) mixtures. Experiments were carried out at the UDRI heated shock tube facility, and covered a pre-ignition temperature range of 950--1550 K at a pre-ignition pressure of ̃16 atm, an equivalence ratio of 3, an argon concentration of 93% (by mol), and under homogeneous gas-phase conditions. Experimental data were modeled using the 2014 SERDP mechanism for jet fuel surrogates (525 species and 3199 reactions). Similar ignition delay times were measured for the tested surrogate blends, confirming previous observations regarding the controlling role of normal alkanes during the induction period. The experimental observation was also compared with modeling results reporting reasonably good agreements. A kinetic analysis of the SERDP 2014 mechanism was also performed, highlighting the major chemical pathways relevant to the pre-ignition chemistry, especially the role of the hydroperoxyl radical at the low temperatures. A wide speciation of combustion products was also carried out under the test conditions. All the aliphatic blends reported similar emissions, whereas the presence of m-xylene produced lower emissions than the aliphatic surrogate blends at lower temperatures. For certain species (light gases) this experimental observation was also supported by the kinetic mechanism predictions. However, aromatic species formed from combustion of n-dodecane/m-xylene surrogate blend were always overestimated by the model and in poor agreement with experimental observations. The results also confirmed the role of acetylene as assisting growth of large PAHs and formation of soot.


Jet planes Fuel Testing, Jet planes Fuel Oxidation Measurement, Aircraft exhaust emissions Measurement, Fuel switching Testing, Mechanical Engineering, combustion, jet fuel surrogates, ignition delay time, emissions, shock tube

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Copyright 2015, author