Science and Technology News

Thursday, May 29, 2014

AEDC adds Jet-A fuel to turbine engine testing fuel supply

by Raquel March
Arnold Engineering Development Complex Public Affairs


5/28/2014 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- The Arnold Engineering Development Complex fuel farm is replacing JP-8 fuel, used by turbine engine testing customers in the Complex's aeropropulsion test facilities, with commercial grade Jet-A fuel.

"The main difference between JP-8 and Jet-A is the fuel freezing point specification," said Gary Chain, a terminal manager in the Aerospace Testing Alliance Utilities and Engineering Services Branch. "Jet-A, which is a kerosene-based aviation fuel, has a higher fuel freeze point specification limit than JP-8 -- minus 40 degrees Celsius for Jet-A versus minus 47 degrees Celsius for JP-8."

JP-8 fuel contains a military additive package that isn't a part of the Jet-A fuel composition. However, the MAP will be added for AEDC customers.

Chain said there is an ongoing study within the Department of Defense and Air Force Petroleum Agency to determine what additives are still required for which airframe and in what quantities.

The additives contained in the MAP limits static buildup in fuel, inhibits icing and microbiological growth, eliminates corrosion, reduces friction, prevents peroxide formation in stored fuel and improves thermal stability.

The fuel transition is nearing completion and has the potential to save the DOD more than $40 million annually in fuel costs. Savings may be seen in product and handling costs due to better access and use of commercial pipelines.

"We ... have been making the conversion to Jet-A for several months," Chain said. "At the present time we have one [turbine engine test] cell that is continuing to use JP-8. At the completion of this test, AEDC will no longer be receiving or using JP-8 as its primary test fuel."

AEDC may use in excess of five million gallons of aviation fuel this fiscal year.

The Complex's fuel farm has the ability to provide multiple fuels such as Iso-Paraffinic Kerosene, Camelina, Tallow, JP-4, JP-5, JP-8 and F-76. The fuels can be distributed to multiple test cells simultaneously.

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