In June 1980, the United States Congress passed the Energy Security Act which provided for the formation of the United States Synthetic Fuels Corporation and amended the Defense Production Act of 1950 to provide for synthetic fuels for the Department of Defense (DOD). A subsequent law, P.L., 96-304, appropriated up to $20 billion for financial incentives to foster a national synthetic fuel industry. The initial synthetic fuel project funded under the Energy Security Act is the Unocal Parachute Creek Project in Colorado with an expected shale oil production of 10,000 bbls/day. The Defense Fuel Supply Center (DFSC) contracted with Gary Energy Refining Company, Fruita, Colorado to provide approximately 5000 bbls/day of shale JP-4 for the United States Air Force (USAF) using crude from the Parachute Creek project, with initial deliveries to begin in 1985.
The USAF immediately accelerated preparations for the eventual operational use of shale derived fuels for turbine engine aircraft. An extensive test and evaluation program was initiated consisting of aviation turbine fuel processing, fuel characterization, aircraft component and subsystem testing, engine and flight testing.
This paper describes the testing program that was accomplished, the significant results which were determined and the quality assurance program that is being implemented to assure that the shale fuel meets the requirements of JP-4, the standard USAF jet fuel.