Aircraft soot from conventional fuels and biofuels during ground idle and climb-out conditions: Electron microscopy and X-ray micro-spectroscopy

Aircraft soot has a significant impact on global and local air pollution and is of particular concern for the population working at airports and living nearby. The morphology and chemistry of soot are related to its reactivity and depend mainly on engine operating conditions and fuel-type. The authors investigated the morphology (by transmission electron microscopy) and chemistry (by X-ray micro-spectroscopy) of soot from the exhaust of a CFM 56-7B26 turbofan engine, currently the most common engine in aviation fleet, operated in the test cell of SR Technics, Zurich airport. Standard kerosene (Jet A-1) and an alternative fuel blend (Jet A-1 with 32% HEFA) were used at ground idle and climb-out engine thrust, as these conditions highly influence air quality at airport areas. The results indicate that soot reactivity decreases from ground idle to climb-out conditions for both fuel types. Nearly one third of the primary soot particles generated by the blended fuel at climb-out engine thrust bear an outer amorphous shell implying higher reactivity. This characteristic referring to soot reactivity needs to be taken into account when evaluating the advantage of HEFA blending at high engine thrust. The soot type that is most prone to react with its surrounding is generated by Jet A-1 fuel at ground idle. Alternative fuel blending slightly lowers soot reactivity at ground idle but does the opposite at climb-out conditions. As far as soot reactivity is concerned, alternative fuels can prove beneficial for airports where ground idle is a common situation; the benefit of alternative fuels for climb-out conditions is uncertain.


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  • Accession Number: 01691847
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2019 3:25PM