Princeton Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Fred Dryer has a lofty goal: end the nation's reliance on oil for jet travel.
With potentially major benefits for energy security and the environment riding upon his success, Dryer is advancing the fundamental knowledge of jet fuels while developing practical, innovative energy sources.
"In order to make alternative jet fuel sources feasible, they need to be compatible with petroleum and produce similar combustion performance," Dryer said. "This will only be possible if we fully understand how both petroleum and alternative fuels burn and design engines based on this fundamental knowledge."
Backed by government and industry grants, Dryer is leading two new research efforts to advance these technologies. The first, a major project funded by the U.S. Air Force, is focused on developing computational and kinetic models that accurately simulate the burning of jet fuel, a complex and poorly characterized mix of chemicals. At the same time, he is putting his basic understanding to use as he develops jet fuels with near-zero net greenhouse gas emissions in a project funded by NetJets, a leading provider of business jets.
The Air Force program is one of the Defense Department's highly competitive Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grants. One of only ten such projects supported by the Air Force this year, the collaboration involves researchers from four institutions -- Princeton, Case Western Reserve University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. The award, with an overall value of up to $7.5 million, will provide support for three years with the option of a two-year extension. Research began in July and the kick-off meeting for the project will be held Sept. 17 in Princeton.
Dryer and his MURI collaborators, including Princeton Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Yiguang Ju, will deve
|Contact: Hilary Parker|
Princeton University, Engineering School