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Overview of Planned Work

The Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) has been charged with developing a strategy for the computational modeling of jet fuel combustion under practical conditions.

Awarded by the Air Force Office of Strategic Research (AFOSR) 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 combustion-controlling fuel property knowledge, chemical kinetic modeling and comprehensive/joined-up experimental validation efforts. From 2007 through much of 2009, the project's collaborative effort was shared among Princeton University, Case Western Reserve University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Continuing onward since the latter part of 2009, this research is now collectively conducted by Princeton University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Connecticutt.

This task is challenging as hydrocarbon jet aviation fuels are currently 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 expected that jet fuels will incorporate components derived from energy resources other than petroleum in the future, widening the fuel composition problem even further. As a strategy to navigate this problem, 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. This MURI project is supported by the AFOSR under the guidance of Dr. Julian Tishkoff. For a recent update on the progress of this collaborative venture was presented at the 2009 Multi-Agency Coordination Committee for Combustion Research (MACCCR) Fuels Summit please click here to see the MURI Jet Fuels Surrogates presentations (Thursday, Sep-15-2009, Morning Session).

See the MURI Jet Fuel Surrogates original proposal for further details.