248644 Preparation of Biobased Jet Fuel Surrogates

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 12:50 PM
322 (Convention Center )
H. Nicholas Conkle1, Grady M. Marcum2, Eric W. Griesenbrock1, Robert W. Morris Jr.3, Heinz J. Robota4 and David K. Thomas4, (1)Process Engineering Systems, Battelle, Columbus, OH, (2)Process Technology and Engineering, Battelle, Columbus, OH, (3)AFRL-RQTF, US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), WPAFB, OH, (4)Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, OH

The US Air Force has certified its entire fleet to use a 50/50 blend of conventional/ non-petroleum-derived (alternative) fuels. Further, the Air Force has a goal to understand the characteristics of fuels produced from these alternative sources and the variables that affect their characteristics. The Air Force, through its Assured Aerospace Fuels Research Facility (AAFRF), located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, has established capabilities that can facilitate the evaluation of synthetic fuel components as well as establish the foundations of composition-property relationships. The facility can produce fuel surrogates at the laboratory (gallons) to the practical sample preparation scale (multiple hundred-gallon lots).

The initial Sample Preparation Unit (SPU) runs were devoted to the preparation of synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK) from Fischer-Tropsch wax. The specification compliant SPK was produced at a rate of about 10 gallons/day, within the unit’s design capacity for such a conversion. The SPU has now been relocated to a new dedicated space, which will allow for a more flexible operating environment capable of accommodating a wider variety of potential feeds.

The unit is now focused on the preparation of biobased jet-fuel surrogates. Lessons learned during initial SPU tests indicate that sustainable rates up to 40 gallons of surrogate/day should be achievable.

The properties of biobased fuels are less well defined than petroleum based fuels. Conventional jet fuels contain hydrocarbon compounds that range in carbon number between 8 and 16. Fuels made from some biobased feedstocks may contain narrower carbon-number distributions. This paper will describe the AAFRF SPU and the production of multiple 500 gallons batches of specialized fuel surrogates.

Public Release Case No. : 88ABW-2011-4512

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