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University develops coal-biomass jet fuel

A university has produced jet fuel from a mixture of both coal and biomass feedstocks which will be tailored to be used in US military jet fuel applications.

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota says its refining technologies helped to produce the coal-biomass feedstock which will be used as another source of fuel that is an alternative to petrol.

‘We are focusing on the commercial potential of production technologies for fuels that have the same physical and chemical properties of highly refined petroleum-derived fuels,’ says Carsten Heide, associate director for intellectual property management and technology commercialisation at the university. ‘The new fuels are basically identical to existing fuels and integrate well with current petroleum-refining technologies.’

‘One of the critical parameters for coal-derived fuels is thermal stability,’ explains Ramesh Sharma, EERC Research Manager, who is leading the coal–biomass fuel production. ‘Not only did our fuel meet the standard fuel specifications, it also exceeds the thermal stability specification of military jet fuel. This means that the EERC fuel will burn cleanly without leaving deposits on important turbine engine parts. This was corroborated by an independent third-party laboratory.’

The new type of jet fuel is to be further tested by the US military.