For application to aircraft turbines, the present work experimentally examines the physical and combustion-related properties of an F-T synthetic jet fuel relative to the Chinese standard jet fuel, RP-3. This fuel, derived from coal feedstock, is characterized in terms of its physical properties such as density, flash point, freezing point, surface tension, viscosity, and heating value in accordance with Chinese National Standard Testing Methods. Subsequently, several important characteristics relevant to its use in aircraft turbine engines are investigated using a single cup model combustor rig, including atomization, ignition, blowout, and exhaust emissions experiments are carried out. Preliminary results suggest that the use of coal-derived synthetic jet fuel will not result in adverse effects on the performance of an aircraft turbine combustor relative to conventional aviation kerosene. These initial results support the conclusion that full-scale engine testing is warranted to further investigate the performance of F-T synthetic jet fuels in practical systems, and to determine its ability to act as a “drop-in” replacement for traditional aviation fuel.

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