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JET Fuel SCREENing and Optimization

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - JETSCREEN (JET Fuel SCREENing and Optimization)

Période du rapport: 2018-12-01 au 2020-10-31

In December 2020, the EU Green Deal announced the need to reduce transport emissions by 90% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels). This requires the production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels, which offer one effective way to mitigate both CO2 and non-CO2 impacts on the climate as well as improving airport local air quality.
While regulatory frameworks like CORSIA aim to reduce the price difference by offsetting CO2, there is a broader need to develop and approve a variety of fuel production pathways that permit the utilisation of a wider range of feedstocks. However, substantial investments of time and finance are currently needed to support these fuels through the current ASTM D4054 international evaluation process .
The first synthetic aviation fuel was approved in 1998, since then, the knowledge and tools to assess alternative fuel performance has grown significantly. Many of these tools have now been further advanced by JETSCREEN by linking the chemical composition of a diverse set of fuels to a number of performance characteristics.
JETSCREEN partners came together to form a consortium in a way that reflects the complexity of fuel behaviour across the whole aviation system. Over the last three and a half years the consortium has worked on understanding and finding answers to the question “How might we maximize the benefits and support the increased deployment of Sustainable Aviation Fuels now and in the future?”
The JETSCREEN consortium focused on progress towards the following three project objectives:
1. Development of advanced and reliable design tools capturing accurately fuel-related effects on airframe and aero-engine,
2. Development of a fuel screening and optimization platform/framework,
3. Providing technical data to explore risks and benefits of zero aromatic / zero sulfur fuels.
During the JETSCREEN project 31 fuels were used in a matrix of 34 experiments to study in detail the fuel impact on a wide set of fundamental and performance properties. With this broad dataset, JETSCREEN has developed or improved upon a rich set of modelling tools capable of predicting these properties from fuel composition information alone. The developed tools can be used to support the design of fuel-optimized aircraft and jet engines as well as for the rapid screening and assessment of new candidate fuels.
A key JETSCREEN enabler is the ability to predict a wide range of fuel performance based on low cost, and volume, fundamental analytical testing that in the past would have not been possible without high tier testing to assess performance, with all the cost, time, and efforts that this would entail. A two-tired process to prescreen candidate fuels before they enter ASTM D4054 fuel evaluation was developed jointly with the US National Jet Fuel Combustion program (NJFCP). The resultant fuel prescreening methodology provides essential feedback about the suitability and improvement potential of candidate fuels to innovative fuel producers. During the project, JETSCREEN provided its prescreening services to five innovative fuels producers in two iteration loops. It was shown that by providing this early stage feedback, even fuels that initially did not conform to aviation fuel requirements could be massively improved and become aviation fuel worthy candidate fuels within few months. In consequence, JETSCREEN tools are lowering cost of SAF candidate fuel evaluation and de-risk/optimise the product prior to entry into the approval process.
In JETSCREEN as in other programs it was shown that fuels without aromatics can reduce nonvolatile particle emissions by up to 80%. If the fuel specification were changed to permit such fuels, this would have an immediate impact on improving air quality at airports and significantly reduce aviation’s non-CO2 climate impact. While the feasibility of using zero aromatic fuels can be justified from a combustion emissions perspective, a deeper understanding of the consequence of removing aromatic and sulfur from the fuel on all aircraft systems, components and materials has to be obtained to ensure aviation’s high safety standards are preserved. In JETSCREEN zero or reduced aromatic/sulfur fuels were systematically studied in a wide range of experiments. Results were used to improve the understanding of the impact of such fuels on existing aircraft and to enable the design of future SAF-optimized aircrafts.
To support the above-mentioned activities, JETSCREEN has created the “JETSCREEN fuel assessment and screening platform” comprising an open source schema for the storage of fuel property data, a concept and implementation of a distributed multi-partner fuel property database, and an integration environment for distributed fuel property models. These tools promote the holistic design of a fuel and fuel system together that enables the smart use of SAF in fuel-optimized aircraft.
JETSCREEN’s value to the aviation industry has already been recognized by its peers. The JETSCREEN/NJFCP prescreening method has been listed by ASTM D02.J02 chair as one of the major factors facilitating the development of new sustainable aviation fuels and is now defined as the new entry point into the fuel evaluation process for fuel producers approaching ASTM.
The JETSCREEN Consortium has successfully demonstrated the value of cross organizational collaboration enhanced by a digital platform in the field of utilisation and evaluation of innovative SAFs. To enable a sustainable use of present and future energy carriers, the highly complex impacts of fuel composition on different technologies used in aircraft and fuel infrastructure across different stakeholders is a challenge that has to be responded to in a systematic way. JETSCREEN knowledge and methods create a sound basis that can be used for future systematic improvements in the sector.
The development of a climate-neutral aviation sector requires a worldwide collaboration to define the regulations and technical specifications that drive the development of new sustainable technologies whilst not compromising safety in use. JETSCREEN has contributed to further develop this network and shared new insights and knowledge in all relevant forums. From the beginning, JETSCREEN had close exchanges with the ASCENT Alternative Jet Fuel Test Database program, the US NJFCP program and its partners on pre-competitive topics concerning the safe use of new and future sustainable aviation fuels.
The JETSCREEN fuel assessment and screening platform will be maintained by the partners for exploitation activities, focusing on the screening of candidate aviation fuels in the future. Therefore, all the tools available will enable to improve the development and effective usage of truly sustainable aviation fuels.
In recognition of the barriers presented by the current evaluation and approval process the EC is formulating the case to create a Clearing House Organization to support and encourage new sustainable fuel vendors. The output and tools from JETSCREEN will be used to assist the Clearing House guide vendors in early stages of the product development/optimization and later in the approval process. This demonstrates that JETSCREEN was timely, relevant and will have a positive impact within the total European strategy towards increased deployment of sustainable aviation fuels.
JETSCREEN Partners
From fuel screening to fuel utilization
Fuel Impact on Aircraft System
JETSCREEN fuel screening methodology