In today’s pressing quest of emission and pollution reduction in all energy sectors, research on renewable and sustainable fuels is a key component. The Institute of Combustion Technology at the German Aerospace Center strives to assess new, renewable fuel in a gear wheel approach of interdependent linked experiments, database comparison and model-based assessment, allowing for a fast iterative feedback to the fuel producer and giving a detailed valuation of fuels as well as a distinguished preselection when presented with numerous fuel samples.

Synthetic fuels as a substitute for fossil fuels are becoming increasingly important within the framework global climate protection goals. Power-to-X technologies such as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis can be used to produce carbon-neutral fuels using carbon dioxide from air (direct air capture) and hydrogen obtained by water electrolysis using green electricity. This fuel assessment has been iteratively performed for the post-processing of a Fischer-Tropsch fuel, produced in the module-based, compact and highly innovative PtL plant erected by INERATEC GmbH.

The aim of the present work was to evaluate the postprocessing steps hydration and distillation of the crude Fischer-Tropsch products with hindsight to “fit-for-purpose” properties of the resulting products for aviation. The chemical composition was determined using comprehensive two-dimensional GCxGC chromatography. Numerical blending analysis was performed utilizing the DLR SimFuel platform to evaluate the range of blending ratios of the Fischer-Tropsch fuels with conventional jet fuels. It could be demonstrated that the post-processed Fischer-Tropsch fuels display a beneficially high blending potential with conventional jet fuels considering the chemical composition and combustion behavior.

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