New study to outline the benefits of synthetic fuel in commercial aircraft

November 17th, 2007 - 7:23 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov. 17 (ANI): A new research is aiming to shed light on the benefits of using synthetic and cleaner jet fuel in commercial aircraft engines.
Research work started after four Qatar-based organizations signed an agreement with Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Shell International to study the feasibility of powering jetliners with gas-to-liquid (GTL) synthetic jet fuels, created by converting natural gas to kerosene.
According to the research, the properties of GTL kerosene are largely similar to those of conventional jet fuel, making it a ‘drop in’ replacement for oil-derived kerosene in aero engines and airports without requiring any modifications to equipment.
However, the main advantage of GTL kerosene in jet engines is that its combustion creates less particulate emissions than petroleum-derived kerosene does.
According to Mick Forey, Senior Vice President of Rolls-Royce, “GTL kerosene burns more cleanly and possesses higher energy density than oil-derived kerosene, allowing aircraft to burn less fuel to fly the same distance.”
“GTL kerosene produces no nitrate or sulphur emissions,” Live Science quoted Sjoerd Post, Vice President of Shell as saying. “So, although using GTL kerosene in commercial jetliner engines won’t reduce CO2 emissions enormously, it should provide large-scale improvements in air quality at and around airports,” he added.
The research will also focus on evaluating potential improvements in local air quality, fuel economy and reductions in carbon dioxide and other emissions.
Other studies will evaluate the operational benefits for airlines of using GTL kerosene, such as enhanced payload-range performance, reduced fuel burn and increased engine durability.
A roadmap has already been outlined for alternative fuels airworthiness approvals by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and CAFFI. This would include the synthetic fuels derived using the Fischer-Tropsch process.
The roadmap supports the approval of a 50-50 semi-synthetic blend of Jet A/A1 kerosene and synthetic fuel by late 2008. It also supports development of a 100-percent synthetic fuel specification by the end of the decade. (ANI)

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