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Biofuels In Aviation - A Possible Alternative?  
User currently offlineCyclonic From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 231 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2338 times:

Hi all,

I think some of you would've heard of biofuels such as Ethanol.
With biofuels becoming an alternative to petroleum and promising more performance, is there a possibility that such fuels could be adapted for use in the aviation industry, especially for jet flight?

With fuel costs being a driving factor, correctly engineered biofuels could bring enormous cost savings and be enviromentally friendly.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?


Keith Richards: The man that Death forgot...
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMrocktor From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1672 posts, RR: 49
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2325 times:

While it is certainly possible to run jet engines off bio fuels (such as ethanol) they carry severe penalties. Compared to jet-A, all bio-fuels (and hydrogen as well) have either poor energy/mass or poor energy/volume ratios (or both).

A poor energy/mass ratio means that you need a lot more fuel to carry the fuel. Heavier fuel means more fuel is needed for the same route, and the progression is not linear, it's exponential.

A poor energy/volume ratio means that the fuel needed to complete a route just wont fit in existing aircraft. New aircraft would have to be designed with increased tankage - which would mean heavier aircraft, more fuel needed and enter the cycle described above.

All in all, aviation is one place where "enviromentally friendly" fuels actually are not. It would be much better to convert all automobiles to ethanol than to try to mess with planes.

mrocktor


User currently offlineWingscrubber From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 854 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2318 times:

Present school of thought is that Cryoplanes will replace kerosene burning jet aircraft, using liquid hydrogen or more likely liquid natural gas.


Resident TechOps Troll
User currently offlineCyclonic From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 231 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2268 times:

Hi guys,

Thanks for the heads up. Very cool feedback!



Keith Richards: The man that Death forgot...
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 2):
Cryoplanes will replace kerosene burning jet aircraft

Any good links available on the same.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineOryx From Germany, joined Nov 2005, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2249 times:

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 2):
Present school of thought is that Cryoplanes will replace kerosene burning jet aircraft, using liquid hydrogen or more likely liquid natural gas.

Why? If you can make hydrogen, you can also produce hydrocarbons (i.e. kerosene) which are a lot easier to handle. If you take the carbon from crops it's even C0_2 neutral. Only disadvantage is you can't eliminate nitro-oxides from a kerosene flame like you could from a hydrogen flame.


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4059 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2247 times:

Quoting Oryx (Reply 5):
Only disadvantage is you can't eliminate nitro-oxides from a kerosene flame like you could from a hydrogen flame.

How come hydrogen wouldn't produce nitrous oxides? As far as I know all it takes is nitrogen and oxygen (both present abundantly in air) as well as very high temperatures (which you would still have in a hydrogen flame).



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineOryx From Germany, joined Nov 2005, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2204 times:

You have to compromise the layout of the combustion chamber between the production of unburned carbohydrates and nitro oxides. Without the presence of carbon in the fuel you can optimize for low nitro oxides with big improvements over present combustion chambers.

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