Emissions Characteristics of Alternative Aviation Fuels

Project Category: 
Alternative Fuels
Project Number: 

In an information paper from the International Civil Aviation Organization's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection Seventh Meeting in Montreal in February 2007, “The Potential use of Alternate Fuels for Aviation,” it is stated, “Interest in alternative fuels for commercial aviation has grown in tandem with concerns about rising fuel costs, energy supply security and the environmental effects of aviation. At the moment, the largest single driver for industry adoption of alternative fuels is the high cost of petroleum. If oil prices remain high, alternatives will remain attractive. However, energy security and possible environmental benefits are also powerful drivers. And, if oil demand outpaces supplies, jet fuel availability could become a constraint to growth. The United States has determined that it is prudent to explore now the potential move toward alternative fuels.”

Project 20 objectives are to work with the aviation community to gather accurate data on emissions from candidate alternative fuel, and to compare these emission characteristics with those of conventional aviation fuel types being gathered in PARTNER Project 9 – Measurement of Emissions, Project 29 - Emissions Characteristics of Modern/Future Aviation Sources, Project 34 – International Collaborative Emission Studies. These data will provide the essential information for Project 17 – Alternate Fuels, provide real-world emissions data inputs to health impact studies and air quality/climate models. In PARTNER’s air quality projects: 3, 11, 16 and 27 and to the aviation community at large as it charts a course for environmental sustainability in an uncertain energy future.

Anticipated outcome

Creation of a Database of particulate matter and hazardous air pollutant emissions from engines burning Jet-A/JP-8, and alternative fuels including biojet and Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuel.

Participating university

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Lead investigator

Philip D. Whitefield, Director of Missouri S&T Center of Excellence for Aerospace Particulate Emissions Reduction Research, Missouri University of Science and Technology, pwhite@mst.edu

Project manager

Carl Ma carl.ma@faa.gov