Producation of Military Fuels by C1 Chemistry

  • Huffman, Gerald (PI)
  • Huggins, Frank (CoI)
  • Shah, Naresh (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Members of the Consortium for Fossil Fuel Science (CFFS) and the leaders of the fuels research teams of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force have identitied several critical research areas of common interest dealing with the production of military fuels from sources other than petroleum. Several meetings were held with the leaders of the Alternative Fuels and Fuel Cells team of the Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM) at the U.S. Army National Automotive Center in Warren, Michigan, and the Fuels Branch of the Propulsion Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio. The CFFS is hoping to initiate a rescarch program focused on the production of military fuels by C1 chemistry in FY 2006. In this approach, military fuels with improved molecular structure will be produced by C1 chemistry, which refers to the synthesis of fuels by catalytic reactions of C1 feedstocks; these include synthesis gas derived from coal or natural gas, methane, and methanol. The specific research topics identified for investigation by the CFFS, TACOM, and the AFRL are briefly summarized below . . Develop Fischer- Tropsch (FT) catalysts and synthesis processes that have improved selectivity for production ofa single battlefield fuel in the kerosene range (-C9 - Cld. Both direct synthesis and catalytic conversion of wax to produce a kerosene product are of interest. Modification of the molecular structure ofthc fuel to enhance fuel density and favorable elastomer interactions will be explored . . Determination of the boundaries of the kerosene product as a function of temperature, catalyst, and pressure . . Identify molecular groups and reactions that promote good elastomer swelling. Although mixing -20-50% petroleum-derived fuels with FT fuels will solve the swelling problem, the CFFS should focus on approaches that will directly produce FT fuels with good elastomer swelling. Fuels containing oxygenates or isomerized products may be a solution. Carbon NEXAFS, IJC NMR, and other spectroscopic techniques will be employed to detennine the sweliing-related structural changes in the elastomers . . Develop models to predict critical properties (freeze point (AF goal is -47 "C), density, stability, elastomer swelling, etc.) from the molecular composition ofFT fuels . ., Because of the high cost of transporting fuels to the battletield, the Anny estimates a cost per gallon of -$300. Therefore, development ofFT technology that would target kerosene and be compatible with construction of small plants near the battlefield is very desirable. Generally, any innovations that would signiticantly improve the economics of FT synthesis of kcrosene fuels would be of interest. An example would be better methods of removing catalysts trom the product.
Effective start/end date9/26/079/24/11


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