Aviation Fuel

Because of significant National Security gains possible from any reduced oil addiction, the Energy Future Coalition recommends that Congress authorize and direct the Department of Defense to conduct a competition, or "fly-off."

This would entail building 5 to 10 commercial-scale demonstration plants within five years. The object being the testing of the viability of a range of conversion processes using diverse and abundant feedstocks, producing different end products applicable to the aviation industry.

Boeing 747 Fuel Tank Arrangement.

Aviation Jet Fuel Information



Aviation turbine fuels are used for powering jet and turbo-prop engined aircraft and are not to be confused with Avgas. Outside former communist areas, there are currently two main grades of turbine fuel in use in civil commercial aviation : Jet A-1 and Jet A, both are kerosine type fuels. There is another grade of jet fuel, Jet B which is a wide cut kerosine (a blend of gasoline and kerosine) but it is rarely used except in very cold climates.


Jet A-1 is a kerosine grade of fuel suitable for most turbine engined aircraft. It is produced to a stringent internationally agreed standard, has a flash point above 38°C (100°F) and a freeze point maximum of -47°C. It is widely available outside the U.S.A. Jet A-1 meets the requirements of British specification DEF STAN 91-91 (Jet A-1), (formerly DERD 2494 (AVTUR), ASTM specification D1655 (Jet A-1) and IATA Guidance Material (Kerosine Type), NATO Code F-35.



Helicopters over Alps.


JP-4 is the military equivalent of Jet B with the addition of corrosion inhibitor and anti-icing additives; it meets the requirements of the U.S. Military Specification MIL-PRF-5624S Grade JP-4. JP-4 also meets the requirements of the British Specification DEF STAN 91-88 AVTAG/FSII (formerly DERD 2454), where FSII stands for Fuel Systems Icing Inhibitor. NATO Code F-40.

Aviation Fuel Additives

Aviation fuel additives are compounds added to the fuel in very small quantities, usually measurable only in parts per million, to provide special or improved qualities. The quantity to be added and approval for its use in various grades of fuel is strictly controlled by the appropriate specifications.

A few additives in common use are as follows:

  1. Anti-knock additives reduce the tendency of gasoline to detonate. Tetra-ethyl lead (TEL) is the only approved anti-knock additive for aviation use and has been used in motor and aviation gasolines since the early 1930s.
  2. Anti-oxidants prevent the formation of gum deposits on fuel system components caused by oxidation of the fuel in storage and also inhibit the formation of peroxide compounds in certain jet fuels.
  3. Static dissipator additives reduce the hazardous effects of static electricity generated by movement of fuel through modern high flow-rate fuel transfer systems. Static dissipator additives do not reduce the need for "bonding" to ensure electrical continuity between metal components (e.g. aircraft and fuelling equipment) nor do they influence hazards from lightning strikes.
  4. Corrosion inhibitors protect ferrous metals in fuel handling systems, such as pipelines and fuel storage tanks, from corrosion. Some corrosion inhibitors also improve the lubricating properties (lubricity) of certain jet fuels.
  5. Fuel System Icing Inhibitors (Anti-icing additives) reduce the freezing point of water precipitated from jet fuels due to cooling at high altitudes and prevent the formation of ice crystals which restrict the flow of fuel to the engine. This type of additive does not affect the freezing point of the fuel itself. Anti-icing additives can also provide some protection against microbiological growth in jet fuel.
  6. Metal de-activators suppress the catalytic effect which some metals, particularly copper, have on fuel oxidation.
  7. Biocide additives are sometimes used to combat microbiological growths in jet fuel, often by direct addition to aircraft tanks; as indicated above some anti-icing additives appear to possess biocidal properties.
  8. Hermal Stability Improver additives are sometimes used in military JP-8 fuel, to produce a grade referred to as JP-8+100, to inhibit deposit formation in the high temperature areas of the aircraft fuel system.

Military transport.