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November/December 2009
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Aviation Turbine Fuels

Finding alternatives to conventionally derived aviation fuel was the impetus behind a new ASTM International standard, D7566, Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons. The new standard was developed by Subcommittee D02.J0.06 on Emerging Turbine Fuels, part of ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants.

“The issuance of D7566 is the culmination of a focused, collaborative effort by the commercial aviation industry to move toward more environmentally friendly fuels and to diversify the suppliers of aviation fuel,” says Mark Rumizen, aviation fuels specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, and chair of the task group that developed D7566.

Rumizen says that concerns with the future cost and supply of conventionally derived aviation fuel and the imposition of carbon emissions limitations contributed to the development of D7566.

According to Rumizen, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative was established in 2006 to facilitate the introduction of alternative aviation fuels.

“The U.S. Air Force, CAAFI and ASTM Subcommittee J [Section J.06] coordinated the evaluation and qualification of candidate alternative fuels,” says Rumizen. “In support of this effort, Section 6 of Subcommittee J established the synthetic fuels task group to write D7566 to accommodate blends of conventional aviation turbine fuel with synthesized hydrocarbon blend components.”

In addition to providing requirements for these blends, D7566 defines specific types of aviation turbine fuel that may contain synthesized hydrocarbons for civil use in the operation and certification of aircraft; it describes fuels found satisfactory for the operation of aircraft and engines.

This initial version of D7566 provides criteria for the production, distribution and use of aviation turbine engine fuel produced from coal, natural gas or biomass using the Fischer-Tropsch process. However, the standard is structured to accommodate other future types of synthetic fuels produced from nonconventional feedstocks and processes as they are developed. These new fuel types can be added to D7566 in annexes after they are qualified.

Potential users of D7566 include all entities involved in the production, transportation, storage, trade and use of aviation turbine engine fuel, including refineries, pipelines, airport fuel farms and airlines.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the ongoing development of D7566.

“It is especially important to have participation from manufacturers of the aircraft and turbine engines as these require fuel controlled to very high standards,” says Rumizen. “In addition, representatives from companies comprising the aviation fuel infrastructure and biofuel producers would provide expertise and experience that would be very beneficial for the development of future annexes of D7566.”

CONTACT

Technical Information: Mark Rumizen, Federal Aviation Administration, Burlington, Mass.

Phone: 781-238-7113

ASTM Staff: David Bradley

Phone: 610-832-9681