With sponsorship from Qatar Science and Technology Park to support Qatar Airways' vision as a world leader in alternative fuels, our research team started work in this field in 2009 as part of a unique academia-industry collaboration model. The undergraduate student researchers are funded by Qatar National Research Fund and play a major role in this project, participating in all its experimental, computational, and theoretical phases. Phase I of this work covers the development of correlations between the Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) synthetic jet fuels' building blocks (paraffinic hydrocarbons) and their physical properties (i.e. density, viscosity, flash point, freezing point, heat content, etc.). The objective of this phase was to identify optimum fuel characteristics and to meet aviation industry standards (e.g. ASTM D1655 & D7566). In Phase II, the experimental data were analyzed using sophisticated statistical techniques (i.e. Artificial Neural Network) to accurately describe the (non-)linear trends for all properties. In Phase III, we investigated the role of aromatics in improving certain properties of GTL jet fuels, such as density and elastomer compatibility (which is essential for fuel tank sealing). Analogous to the investigations conducted in Phase I, visualization models were developed to identify the optimum GTL jet fuel composition formulated by normal-, iso-, cyclic-paraffins and mono-aromatics. Currently, we are working on Phase IV which involves expanding our model to include new additives and component families in order to optimize the blending strategy for Qatar's GTL products and to increase their market value. The success in this direction could provide cheaper and more environmentally friendly synthetic jet fuels derived from natural gas, compared to the current oil-derived Jet A-1 fuels. In addition to the technical results, our fuel characterization lab acts as a training ground for young and talented scientists in order to develop their technical and soft skills. Students get the opportunity to work in a professional environment with strict safety and quality regulations on par with industrial standards, to report scientific data and to draw conclusions from this information in order to make decisions on the next course of research activities.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error