Fuel composition and secondary organic aerosol formation: Gas-turbine exhaust and alternative aviation fuels

Marissa A. Miracolo, Greg T. Drozd, Shantanu H. Jathar, Albert A. Presto, Eric M. Lipsky, Edwin Corporan, Allen L. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

A series of smog chamber experiments were performed to investigate the effects of fuel composition on secondary particulate matter (PM) formation from dilute exhaust from a T63 gas-turbine engine. Tests were performed at idle and cruise loads with the engine fueled on conventional military jet fuel (JP-8), Fischer-Tropsch synthetic jet fuel (FT), and a 50/50 blend of the two fuels. Emissions were sampled into a portable smog chamber and exposed to sunlight or artificial UV light to initiate photo-oxidation. Similar to previous studies, neat FT fuel and a 50/50 FT/JP-8 blend reduced the primary particulate matter emissions compared to neat JP-8. After only one hour of photo-oxidation at typical atmospheric OH levels, the secondary PM production in dilute exhaust exceeded primary PM emissions, except when operating the engine at high load on FT fuel. Therefore, accounting for secondary PM production should be considered when assessing the contribution of gas-turbine engine emissions to ambient PM levels. FT fuel substantially reduced secondary PM formation in dilute exhaust compared to neat JP-8 at both idle and cruise loads. At idle load, the secondary PM formation was reduced by a factor of 20 with the use of neat FT fuel, and a factor of 2 with the use of the blend fuel. At cruise load, the use of FT fuel resulted in no measured formation of secondary PM. In every experiment, the secondary PM was dominated by organics with minor contributions from sulfate when the engine was operated on JP-8 fuel. At both loads, FT fuel produces less secondary organic aerosol than JP-8 because of differences in the composition of the fuels and the resultant emissions. This work indicates that fuel reformulation may be a viable strategy to reduce the contribution of emissions from combustion systems to secondary organic aerosol production and ultimately ambient PM levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8493-8501
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume46
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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