Purdue University, USA
Posters-Accepted Abstracts: J Aeronaut Aerospace Eng
Recent advancements in bio-energy production allowed increased use of liquid biofuels, introducing the advantages of reduced fossil fuel dependence, lower exhaust emissions and renewable feedstock options. These â�?�?drop-inâ�? fuels, however also brought operational challenges for aviation as multiple novel chemicals come into contact with numerous airframe and power plant materials. One set of such challenges involve the fire safety of alternative fuels. The traditional firefighting foams may not be as effective on alternative aviation fuels; impacting the safety of the public and first responders. Purdue research team collaborated with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) division to investigate the â�?�?alternative aviation fuels-firefighting foams compatibilityâ�?. The fuels studied are fossil derived jet fuel (Jet-A), Fischer-Tropsch (FT), Hydrogenated Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), Renewable Synthetic Iso-Paraffinic (SIP) jet fuels and one unleaded aviation gasoline (AvGas) replacement candidate. Each fuel sample was assigned a chemical identification demonstrating its complex composition determined by a Multidimensional Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectroscopy system (GCxGC/MS). Concurrently, each fuel was tested in a closed stainless steel combustion chamber to determine the burn characteristics which are: flammability limits, minimum ignition energy, and the rate of fire spread. Correlations between the chemical compositions and combustion parameters were developed which were further utilized for implementing the tactical and strategic adaptive methods for fighting the alternative aviation fuel fires. This project also accomplished the valuable fuel composition databank of sustainable aviation fuels which provided a great baseline for developing predictive models between fuel chemical/physical characteristics and performance criteria.