Looking For Fuels That Don't Compete With Human Food
Pratt & Whitney Canada wants attendees at this week's
Farnborough International Airshow to think "green"... and, P&WC
engines. The company says it is leading a groundbreaking aerospace
industry-university research effort to investigate the potential
use of biofuels for small and medium size engine applications.
P&WC is evaluating the feasibility of using "second
generation" biofuels that originate from sources that do not
compete with human food sources. These could include jatropha and
algae-derived biofuels, as well as biobutanol to power aircraft
"Already a leader in green technologies for small aviation
engines, we aim to have a fuel-flexible engine and to develop
technologies that will allow us to offer aircraft manufacturers
innovative and green power solutions," said Walter Di Bartolomeo,
vice president – Engineering, P&WC."
The objectives for the four-year project include identifying and
assessing appropriate biofuels, studying their effect on engine
components such as combustors and fuel systems, developing
appropriate technologies and design changes to accommodate them,
and conducting tests comparing current jet fuels with first
generation ethanol, as well as second generation biofuels.
The alternative fuel project is one of several initiatives
announced recently by the governments of Canada and India under a
joint research collaboration agreement in the field of science and
technology. The Canadian portion is being funded through the
International Science and Technology Partnerships Program.
managing the project and dedicating resources at its research
centres in Longueuil, Quebec and Mississauga, Ontario to look into
engine components and materials changes. Infotech Enterprises Ltd.
and two major Indian oil companies will share in this effort. Four
Canadian institutions, McGill University, Laval University, Ryerson
University and National Research Council Canada are also
participating, along with the Indian Institute of Technology,
Science and Petroleum.
P&WC has previously undertaken extensive research into
alternative jet fuel blends using shale and tar sand oil derived
products, as well as hydrogen.
"We are very pleased about launching this study of biofuels for
small aircraft engines," said Sam Sampath, manager and Senior
Fellow, Combustion Engineering and Emissions Control, P&WC, who
is leading the research project. "Our goal is to develop
technologies for fuel flexible gas turbine engines, which can
operate with a variety of biofuels and mixtures using the same