Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Coal-based jet fuel poised for next step


A jet fuel comparable to Jet A or military JP 8, but derived from at least 50 percent bituminous coal, has successfully powered a helicopter jet engine, according to a Penn State fuel scientist.

"Because the fuel is 50 percent derived from coal, it could reduce our use of imported petroleum for this purpose by half," says Dr. Harold H. Schobert, professor of fuel science and director of Penn State’s Energy Institute. "We have shown in tests that the mix can go to at least 75 percent coal."

The fuel, provisionally designated JP900, is produced in one of two processes under investigation by Schobert. The process uses light cycle oil – a petroleum byproduct -- and coal-derived refined chemical oil -- a byproduct of the coke industry. The researchers mix the two components and add hydrogen. When distilled, jet fuel comes off as a distillate. The process can be carried out in existing refineries with some retrofitting and small amounts of the leftover components will feed into various portions of the petroleum stream. The lighter portions will go to the pool of chemicals that make gasoline and the heavier ones go to the diesel or fuel oil streams.

"The combustion tests showed that JP900 meets or exceeds almost all specification for JP8 and Jet A," Schobert told attendees at the 231st meeting of the American Chemical Society today (March 27) in Atlanta, Ga.

These tests showed that JP900 has a flash point higher than required for JP8, a lower viscosity and freezing point and a higher smoke point. The coal-based fuel is lower in aromatics – such compounds as benzene and toluene – than conventional jet fuels and is almost sulfur free. From an energy point of view, JP900 produces almost exactly the same Btu as JP8.

Not only does JP900 meet most of the specification for JP8, but it also has the high flash point required of JP5, naval jet fuel and the thermal stability of JP7, a high performance fuel.

While originally, this project began to develop jet fuel for the next generation of high performance aircraft that would require very thermally stable fuels. Now that fuel prices have soared and we need to lower fuel costs, develop secure fuel sources and decrease dependence on foreign oil, there is a major shift in thinking about fuel and its sources.

"The fact that our fuel is almost dead on to JP 8 is something that the Air Force likes," says Schobert. "This fuel was intended to be a high heat sink fuel, which it is, but it can also be used in existing engines."

The project now targets coal-based replacement for existing fuels with the hope that this will interest both commercial and military users. So far the Penn State project has produced 500 gallons of fuel in a pilot plant operated by Intertek of Warren, Pa. The Penn State researcher would now like to produce about 4,500 gallons, or about 100 barrels, of the fuel for future testing by the Air Force and others.

A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Greater Range and Longer Lifetime
26.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

nachricht 3-D-printed magnets
26.10.2016 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>