Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

At Last, A Low-Cost Aviation Gasoline That Gets The Lead Out

Date:
July 20, 1999
Source:
University Of North Dakota, Energy & Environmental Research Center
Summary:
Piston-engine aircraft will soon be able to use a new low-cost, lead-free alternative fuel that is based largely on ethanol and other agricultural products.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Piston-engine aircraft will soon be able to use a new low-cost, lead-free alternative fuel that is based largely on ethanol and other agricultural products.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently certified the fuel, which is about 85 percent ethanol and contains a high-octane petroleum product and agriculturally derived "biodiesel" for lubrication. Because of its high percentage of agricultural components, the fuel is known as AGE85.

AGE85 was developed during a three-year research project funded by the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The National Alternative Fuels Laboratory (NAFL) formulated the fuel at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC).

Aircraft testing and certification were performed by South Dakota State University in Brookings, Great Planes Fuel Development in Watertown, S.D., Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, and Texas Skyways of Boerne, Texas.

Currently, aviation gasoline (known as "avgas") for piston-engine aircraft contains four times more lead than was used in leaded automotive gasoline before it was banned from use in new cars in 1973. However, because the lead additive has been the most economical method for achieving 100-octane fuel, leaded avgas has remained the standard for high-performance piston-engine planes.

To avoid damaging the general aviation industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to permit the use of leaded avgas until an economic alternative was developed. That time has come, according to Ted Aulich, the EERC research manager in charge of the NAFL.

"We believe that AGE85 is the economic alternative," Aulich says. "Based on a current price of pure ethanol at 95 cents a gallon, AGE85 is expected to sell at the pump for about $1.10 per gallon, compared to the current avgas price of $2 per gallon."

Jim Behnken of Great Planes says, "AGE85 is a high-performance, high-octane fuel -- just what newer, high-performance, high-compression aircraft engines need."

In flight tests and engine teardown inspections conducted over the last year in San Antonio, Texas, Behnken says AGE85 was demonstrated to meet or exceed FAA performance, materials compatibility and engine component wear specifications. It was approved for use in several different models of Cessna aircraft equipped with Continental engines.

Behnken says that the engine wear observed following the mandated 500-hour endurance test was so minimal that the FAA has waived the test as a requirement in ongoing and planned AGE85 certifications for additional aircraft models.

"Achieving initial certification is probably the most difficult step in getting a new aircraft fuel approved," says Dennis Helder of SDSU. "As the FAA certifies AGE85 for use with more engine and airframe combinations, it will become easier for additional aircraft to be certified.

"Our objective is to have at least 50 percent of the current aircraft fleet certified within the next year and a half," he says. "Eventually, all piston-engine aircraft should be certified to use AGE85."

According to Aulich, the ethanol used in the new fuel is produced mainly from corn and other grains. The biodiesel component can be made from many different crops, including soy beans, sunflowers, canola and cotton seed. In addition, waste products such as fryer oils and cooking grease, as well as beef tallow and pork lard, can be used.

Aulich says the current avgas market in the United States alone is about 600-700 million gallons per year and current ethanol production is about 1.2 billion gallons per year. With other nations showing a strong interest in AGE85, the demand for ethanol could be significantly expanded, he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of North Dakota, Energy & Environmental Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of North Dakota, Energy & Environmental Research Center. "At Last, A Low-Cost Aviation Gasoline That Gets The Lead Out." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990720083151.htm>.
University Of North Dakota, Energy & Environmental Research Center. (1999, July 20). At Last, A Low-Cost Aviation Gasoline That Gets The Lead Out. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990720083151.htm
University Of North Dakota, Energy & Environmental Research Center. "At Last, A Low-Cost Aviation Gasoline That Gets The Lead Out." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990720083151.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins