Inderscience Publishers

Investigation of fatty acid methyl esters in jet fuel


Sustainable aviation fuels research has considerable momentum in efforts lead by government, academia and industry. Environmentally sound domestic fuels allow significant benefits, while also creating some challenges due to their novelty. One of these challenges is the cross contamination of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) in biodiesel with jet fuels. It was suspected that sharing the same supply chain caused FAME to contaminate jet fuels which lead to aircraft malfunction. Consequently, in 2010, aero engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) mandated an immediate allowable limit of 5 ppm FAME in jet fuels. Civil Aviation Authority later increased the limit to 30 ppm (2012). This study finds that the presence of FAME in Jet-A at a much higher concentration of 2 vol% does not have an adverse impact on the ASTM D1655 specifications (2013). Therefore, it is recommended that the current limit of 30 ppm be revised.

Keywords: fatty acid methyl esters, FAME, contamination, biodiesel, sustainable jet fuels, fuel pipelines

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