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Comprehensive Assessment of Composition and Thermochemical Variability by High Resolution GC/QToF-MS and the Advanced Distillation-Curve Method as a Basis of Comparison for Reference Fuel Development
- Lovestead, Tara M., Burger, Jessica
L., Schneider, Nico, Bruno, Thomas J.
- Energy & Fuels 2016 v.30 no.12 pp. 10029-10044
- alternative fuels, aviation, distillation, emissions, energy costs, feedstocks, fuel combustion, gas chromatography, hydrogen, models, pollution, renewable energy sources, spectroscopy, supply chain, viscosity
- Commercial and military aviation is faced with challenges that include high fuel costs, undesirable emissions, and supply chain insecurity that result from the reliance on petroleum-based feedstocks. The development of alternative gas turbine fuels from renewable resources will likely be part of addressing these issues. The United States has established a target for one billion gallons of renewable fuels to enter the supply chain by 2018. These alternative fuels will have to be very similar in properties, chemistry, and composition to existing fuels. To further this goal, the National Jet Fuel Combustion Program (a collaboration of multiple U.S. agencies under the auspices of the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA) is coordinating measurements on three reference gas turbine fuels to be used as a basis of comparison. These fuels are reference fuels with certain properties that are at the limits of experience. These fuels include a low viscosity, low flash point, high hydrogen content “best case” JP-8 (POSF 10264) fuel, a relatively high viscosity, high flash point, low hydrogen content “worst case” JP-5 (POSF 10259) fuel, and a Jet-A (POSF 10325) fuel with relatively average properties. A comprehensive speciation of these fuels is provided in this paper by use of high resolution gas chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight–mass spectrometry (GC/QToF-MS), which affords unprecedented resolution and exact molecular formula capabilities. The volatility information as derived from the measurement of the advanced distillation curve temperatures, Tₖ and Tₕ, provides an approximation of the vapor-liquid equilibrium, and examination of the composition channels provides detailed insight into thermochemical data. A comprehensive understanding of the compositional and thermophysical data of gas turbine fuels is required not only for comparison but also for modeling of such complex mixtures, which will, in turn, aid in the development of new fuels with the goals of diversified feedstocks, decreased pollution, and increased efficiency.