An Investigation Into the Feasibility of Alternative Aviation Fuels

Atma Prakash, Jack Davies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The main issues that arise from generating renewable jet fuels is that they are not currently cost effective and cannot be processed in high enough quantities to meet the sector demands. Therefore, only limited use of biofuels are used in today’s aviation industry and hydrogen is currently not used at all commercially. This report contains an evaluation of production capabilities and limitations of various lipid oil sources along with the hydro-processed renewable jet fuel (HRJ) fuels and hydrogen fuels that they respectively produce. A CFD investigation is then carried out on a camelina based renewable jet fuel and hydrogen to determine their fuel properties, behaviors in a conventional can combustor design using non-premixed combustion methods. The findings of this report show that oil crops cannot be used as the sole source of aviation biofuels due to limitations in yield density and land requirements that would be necessary to meet the sector demands, however they could be used to supplement the supply of aviation fuel in the near future as they can be grown easily in relatively large quantities and can be used safely in fuel blends of 80%:20% conventional fuel to hydro-processed renewable jet fuel (HRJ) respectively. A more likely source of fuel that has the potential to power the aviation industry as a single source is algae due to its high yield density when artificially grown in photobioreactors, however the cost of this process remains too high to be commercially viable. Hydrogen obtained via water separation also has the potential to single headedly power the aviation industry, however the process of obtaining the fuel is not commercially viable and significant modifications would need to be made to existing aircraft due to hydrogens sparsely different fuel properties compared to conventional aviation fuels.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2020
EventAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum - Orlando, United States
Duration: 6 Jan 202010 Jan 2020


ConferenceAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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