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Welcome to the Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) website for "Generation of Comprehensive Surrogate Kinetic Models and Validation Databases for Simulating Large Molecular Weight Hydrocarbon Fuels." This project is a collaborative effort among Princeton University, Case Western Reserve University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Awarded under the 2007 MURI competition in the topical area of "Science-Based Design of Fuel Flexible Chemical Propulsion/Energy Conversion Systems," this MURI seeks to advance the state-of-the-art in combustion modeling of jet fuels through advances in chemical kinetic modeling and validation experiments. Hydrocarbon jet fuels are typically produced from petroleum as loosely defined mixtures of hundreds of individual molecular components that collectively meet stringent certification standards for use in aircraft. The specific composition can vary substantially with the petroleum resource and processing methods, leading to both geographic and seasonal variations. It is also contemplated that future jet fuels might incorporate components derived from energy resources other than petroleum in the future. Recent trends suggest that alternative materials might be derived from Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of natural gas or synthesis gas, or from bio-oils. “Green refining” processes will likely result in fully hydrogenated components (alkanes) to be added to petroleum products.

The project focuses on the use of "surrogates" - mixtures of a small number of appropriate liquid hydrocarbons - designed to simulate the combustion behavior of these complex petroleum-derived and alternative hydrocarbon fuels. The goal of the MURI is to develop tools to better enable evaluating fuel property changes on the performance and emissions of existing engines, to improve combustor designs in future engine development, and to take advantage of the changes in fuel composition driven by alternative aircraft fuel programs. As the project progresses, additional materials are continually added to this website. This program is strongly interactive with national laboratories as well as industry and other universities, and we invite inquiries.

This MURI project is supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) under the guidance of Dr. Julian Tishkoff.


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