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The implementation of high performance drop-in jet fuels (HPFs) from alternative feedstocks can provide economic benefits to airlines, while contributing to emissions reduction. HPFs offer several operational and economic advantages compared to conventional jet fuel, including improved specific fuel consumption and lower sooting. HPFs that exhibit high specific energy [MJ/kg] and energy density [MJ/L] can increase mission range, payload, and seat capacity. As commercial airlines in the US spend close to 135 billion USD per year on jet fuel, it follows that small increases in the specific energy and energy density of jet fuel can save airlines millions of dollars annually in fuel cost. Three approaches were taken in conjunction to bound HPF economic benefits: identification and calculation of properties for bio-derived molecules via quantum chemistry methods, utilization of ant colony optimization to determine blends of conventional and “specialty” molecules that meet HPF specifications, and simulation of flights to correlate HPF performance increases to economic benefits for airlines. Optimization indicates that alkylated cyclohexanes have significant performance benefits when used in HPFs while helping achieve drop-in operability properties. The creation of HPFs with high concentrations of mono and dicycloalkanes can potentially allow for the removal of aromatics from the fuel, which are widely accepted as being major contributors to soot formation during combustion.
Joshua S Heyne
Primary Advisor's Department
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Stander Symposium poster
"Improvement in Jet Aircraft Operation with the Use of High-Performance Drop-in Fuels" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1502.