Honors College Theses




Mechanical Engineering (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Valentin Soloiu


Greenhouse gases (GHG) have a harmful effect on our environment as they trap heat in the atmosphere accelerating climate change. As such, the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2025 strategic plan to reduce GHG emissions from air transportation. This call to action for a more environmentally friendly option highlights the importance of synthetic fuels as they are more sustainable compared to traditional fossil fuels. An investigation was conducted into the thermal-physical properties of Synthetic Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and the Low Temperature Combustion (LTC). LTC is composed of the Low Temperature Heat Release (LTHR) and Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) region, which has been linked to reduction GHG emissions. Due to the limited knowledge of these regions, this study investigates both Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Kerosene (S8) and Iso-Paraffinic Kerosene (IPK), using Jet-A as a baseline.

The atomization and mixture formation of the fuel spray was analyzed using a Malvern Spraytec He-Ne Laser and Mie Scattering theory. The results of this experiment showed IPK to have the lowest Sauter Mean Diameter (SMD), this corresponds to increased atomization and a more efficient combustion.

Using the PAC CID 510 Constant Volume Combustion Chamber (CVCC), LTHR, NTC, Ignition Delay (ID) and Combustion Delay (CD) and Derived Cetane Number (DCN) of the fuels were analyzed. S8 was found to have the lowest ID and CD values and highest DCN, thus having a better autoignition. However, IPK was observed to have the most stability during combustion with a lower magnitude of ringing.