Increasing global air transport demand, dwindling natural resources, and the negative environmental impacts associated with the petroleum economy serve as driving factors in the search for green and sustainable alternatives in aviation sector. Pressing energy security and climate change concerns have fostered a broad range of research activities on the development of non-petroleum aviation fuels. Since combustion of hydrocarbon fuels will continue to provide the majority of energy for the next few decades, there is high demand to improve the efficiency of combustion technology to decrease the amount of fuel consumed and to reduce the emissions in an effort to lessen the environmental impacts. In addition, fuel-flexible designs that can run on both conventional and alternative jet fuels are desired. This talk reviews the current state of development of drop-in alternative jet fuels, as well as highlights recent advances in research activities on alternative jet fuels, including fuel property evaluations, combustor component tests, engine tests, and flight tests. Furthermore, potential opportunities for co-optimization of both alternative jet fuels and aviation combustion systems are discussed, as emergence of alternative jet fuels has opened the door to formulate the performance-based jet fuels that work best with the current and next-generation aeropropulsion combustors in order to maximize their operability, fuel combustion efficiency, and emissions reduction.
Dr. Chih-Jen Sung joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut in 2009, and currently is Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Professor in Sustainable Energy in the department. He served as a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University from 1999 to 2009. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1994. Dr. Sung's research and teaching interests have included structures and dynamics of chemically reacting flows, development of detailed and reduced chemical kinetic models, laser diagnostics, supersonic combustion, unsteady and high-pressure flame phenomena, soot and NOx formation, flame extinction and ignition, spray dynamics and combustion, alternative fuel utilization and combustion, and clean combustion technology. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Combustion Institute, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, an elected member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and a member of the Editorial Board for Combustion Theory and Modeling. He is author or co-author of over 190 archival publications in combustion, propulsion, and sustainable energy, together with seven book chapters.