USN Synthesizes Renewable Missile Fuel
In brief: The U.S. Navy has successfully synthesized renewables-based, high-density fuel with properties similar to JP-10 missile fuel.
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Navy researchers have found fuel candidates with up to 90% yield from B-pinene, which is a renewable compound derived from wood and plant pulps. Pinenes get their name from pine resin, where they are abundant, but can also be found in the resins of most conifers and other plants.
Energy & Fuels published a paper written by the Navy's researchers this month.
JP-10 is a tactical fuel used most often in cruise missiles and other air-breathing vehicles requiring high-density fuel.
The Navy has long been working on replacing much of the aeronautic fuels used today in order to get away from petroleum as a primary fuel source.
The Navy, through DARPA, for instance, pioneered research into algae as an alternative oil source for biodiesel.
This new, renewable JP-10 could come from agricultural waste, wood pulp waste, or bioengineered stocks of plants or microbes.
And so ...
The testing involved three bases of pinenes, finding Nafion to work the best, producing up to 90% the dimerization of JP-10. The next step will be scaled laboratory testing of the fuel.
Photo credits: Military.com
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