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Among the samples examined in a U.S. Navy investigation of alternative fuels for ship propulsion were 15 distillates derived from oil shale, coal, and tar sands. The chemical and physical properties of these distillates were similar in many respects to those required by specifications for gas turbine fuels. In this paper, the chemical and physical properties of the 15 distillates are compared with those required by the ASTM Specification for Gas Turbine Fuel Oils (D 2880-82) for Grades 1-GT, 2-GT, 3-GT, and 4-GT gas turbine fuels, as well as with military specification requirements and published commercial fuel properties. Differences have been noted in properties not controlled under ASTM Specification D 2880-82, and supplemental specification requirements for alternative fuels will probably be needed. The aromatics content, nitrogen content, and other property differences stemming from the raw material source affect the handling, storage, and combustion of the fuel. Low heats of combustion, low smoke points, and poor storage stability have been observed for some of the distillates, and these properties may be dependent on the degree of refining, particularly of hydrogenation, that the distillate undergoes in its manufacture. The author has concluded that fuels meeting the current requirements for the various grades of ASTM Specification D 2880-82 gas turbine fuels can be made from liquids derived from coal, oil shale, and tar sands. However, for the satisfactory performance of such liquids, the specification requirements will have to be augmented by limitations in the composition or in related properties, such as smoke point and stability.
alternative fuels, distillate fuels, coal liquids, shale oil liquids, tar sand liquids, gas turbine fuels, chemical properties, physical properties, composition, stability, combustion properties
Chemical engineer, Fuels Research, David Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Annapolis Laboratory, Annapolis, Md.