TriStar
Topic Author
Posts: 834
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 9:03 pm

Australian Fuel

Mon Jan 17, 2000 8:32 pm

Hello to all,

I've been reading a few articles on contamination of fuel in Australia lately, but somehow, I seem to have missed the bigger picture. I read it's about Ethylene Di-Amine contamination. I'm not a physicist, so I am not too sure about the repercussions this has on this rather essential fluid.
However, I read quite a few aircraft have been grounded as a direct consequence. Is anyone able to shine a clear light on the matter?
Much obliged.

Best regards,

TriStar.
 
exnonrev
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 4:26 am

RE: Australian Fuel

Mon Jan 17, 2000 8:37 pm

I'm not aware of the specific cause of the contamination in Australia, but it only affects avgas, not jet fuel.
 
TriStar
Topic Author
Posts: 834
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 9:03 pm

Avgas Or Jet Fuel

Mon Jan 17, 2000 8:46 pm

Exnonrev,

Regarding the avgas versus jet fuel issue; if that is the case, I apologize. As I said, I'm not a physicist, so I'm here looking for information I didn't get from the articles I read. They cited the whole issue as a jet fuel contamination, which is what I based my question upon.
Wherein lies the difference between the two, by the way?

Also, if anyone can elaborate, please feel free.

Best regards,

TriStar.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Australian Fuel

Mon Jan 17, 2000 11:34 pm

Just read AvWeb's Monday edition (www.avweb.com, free registration) and they implied the country's entire 5,000 piston-powered aircraft was grounded. Check the above website out for an excellent description of what that chemical can do to the inside of an aircraft engine/fuel system.

Cheers....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
exnonrev
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 4:26 am

RE: Avgas Or Jet Fuel

Mon Jan 17, 2000 11:51 pm

Avgas is aviation gasoline. It's similar to automotive gasoline except the octane rating is usually a little higher and anti-freeze additives are sometimes used.

Back in the heyday of big radial piston engines, the octane rating was as high as 130/145. Today it usually comes in 80/87 (unleaded) or 100LL (low lead). 100/115 is still available in some parts of the world but has been largely phased out due to its lead content. A few aircraft have even had STCs (Supplemental Type Certificates) issued to allow the use of straight 87 octane automotive gasoline (Mogas).

Jet fuel is basically kerosene with anti-freeze additives mixed in. Jet-A is the most common type. Jet fuel, like kerosene and diesel, is not refined to the degree that gasoline is. In fact, many jet engines can run on diesel fuel in a pinch. (with some modification)

The contamination problem in Australia is beginning to have an effect on the economy. There are over 5000 piston-powered aircraft in Australia that are currently grounded. Small planes are an essential part of survival in many parts of that vast country and their absence is beginning to hurt.
 
TriStar
Topic Author
Posts: 834
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 9:03 pm

Wow...

Mon Jan 17, 2000 11:51 pm

Now, that's quite impressing. Thanks for the reference to the article, OPNLguy. At last, the concept is somewhat clear to me.
Black sludge blocking parts of the engine and drains of fuel tanks clogging up by white jelly does not sound very good... I'd hate to think anything like that causing engine failure in mid-flight, as has been insinuated in the article. That's a huge responsibility for the fuel company...!

Let's hope they can work things out, soon.

Best regards,

TriStar.
 
Buff
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: Australian AvGas

Tue Jan 18, 2000 3:38 am

Where would this contamination have been introduced? My 30 year old biochemistry translates the contaminant as almost like a fungus. Any PhD's out there?

Best Regards,

Buff
 
QF1
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 12:24 am

RE: Australian AvGas

Tue Jan 18, 2000 8:35 am

The contamination was traced back to the supplier of the fuel, Mobil at there Melbourne proccesing plant. CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) have devised a way of finding out if an aircraft has the contaminated fuel, by running water throught the aircrafts fuel tank. But they think if could still be weeks or even months before all aircraft are back in the air.

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