Illinois leads national alternative jet fuel database


Miranda Holloway, MechSE Communications

MechSE Associate Professor Tonghun Lee
MechSE Associate Professor Tonghun Lee
MechSE Associate Professor Tonghun Lee
The University of Illinois is the lead institution in creating a national archive database for alternative jet fuels. Mechanical Science and Engineering Associate Professor Tonghun Lee and his graduate student, Anna Oldani, are the lead researchers on the project.
The database was developed as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aviation Sustainability Center of Excellence (ASCENT) program, and aims to consolidate properties and combustion test data for current and emerging alternative jet fuels into a single archive—with the goal of providing a single point of information to aid fuel design, optimization, and testing that meet operational requirements for jet engine combustion. The goal of the project is to provide a database that academic, government, and industrial communities can use for fuels research to support their approval and commercial development. 
The effort is being carried out in collaboration with not only the FAA, but other federal agencies and laboratories including NIST, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Army Research Laboratory, and the Naval Research Laboratory.
Lee’s research group focuses on laser diagnostics for advanced energy and propulsion technologies, including analysis of the mechanical properties and reaction chemistry of alternative jet fuels.
The information compiled in the database will help with the screening and certification of new fuels as well as the development of next-generation engines, fuel delivery systems, and pollution mitigation technologies. Additionally, it will provide FAA with an overview of research surrounding alternative jet fuels and corresponding issues to address in the future, including those relevant to environment protection.