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Green skies: Engineer's work may reduce jet travel's role in global warming
Date:9/13/2007

lop methods to predict and evaluate how jet fuels will behave in actual engines and characterize the emissions they will produce. While current guidelines specify some overall properties of jet fuels, they do not spell out the actual chemical composition. Depending on the source and processing method, jet fuel typically consists of hundreds to thousands of molecular structures that behave in a variety of ways.

The models developed by the team will represent and characterize the behavior of this broad range of jet fuel species using only a few types of molecular structures as surrogates for the larger whole. Dryer previously developed similar "surrogate fuel" models to represent gasoline, which are now being used for engine design by the automotive industry.

"The composition of fuels changes with the geographic source, the refining process and even with the season," Dryer noted. "Since we have an energy security problem, we need to be sure that alternative fuel sources are going to work and, in order to do that, we need to understand exactly how petroleum-based fuels work alone and in combination with alternative fuels."

Alternative energy sources, if designed appropriately, also could significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses released in creating and burning jet fuel. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, aviation is responsible for around 10 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in the nation, or roughly 2.7 percent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. The second research program, supported by NetJets, augments Dryer's fundamental MURI work and brings in additional expertise from the Princeton Environmental Institute to develop "greener" alternative fuels.

"NetJets is pleased to be working with the engineers and scientists at Princeton to develop new jet fuels with near-zero net greenhouse gas emissions," said NetJets Chairman and CEO Richard Santulli. "Princeton has a l
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Contact: Hilary Parker
haparker@princeton.edu
609-258-4597
Princeton University, Engineering School
Source:Eurekalert

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