Volume 7, Issue 6 (June 2010)
Synthetic Jet Fuel Blend Analysis Using Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy
With recent volatile oil prices and the desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, the airline industry and military are looking at ways to supplement the fuel supply. Synthetic jet fuel has recently come to the forefront as a possible solution since it has chemical properties and energy density similar to that of petroleum based jet fuel. In order to successfully implement synthetic jet fuels into a fuel supply, it is essential to know the blend ratio of synthetic to standard jet fuel. A portable mid-infrared analyzer was evaluated as a possible tool to analyze the blend ratio. Preliminary results showed that portable mid-infrared analyzers have an accuracy better than 1 % by volume. Both commercial (Jet A) and military spec (JP-8) fuels were blended with different levels of synthetic jet fuel, and calibrations were generated on a portable mid-infrared spectrometer. The mid-infrared spectrometer performed within an acceptable accuracy with both fuels. In addition, it was possible to calibrate using Jet A fuel and predict the synthetic blend ratio on JP-8 fuel, so the calibration was robust enough to compensate for different fuel types. Further studies are underway in order to determine the effects of fuel additives and different synthetic fuel types on infrared analysis.