03 Jan 2022

03 Jan 2022

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Aircraft-engine particulate matter emissions from conventional and sustainable aviation fuel combustion: comparison of measurement techniques for mass, number, and size

Joel C. Corbin1, Tobias Schripp2, Bruce E. Anderson3, Greg J. Smallwood1, Patrick LeClercq2, Ewan Crosbie3,4, Steven Achterberg5, Philip Whitefield5, Richard Miake-Lye6, Zhenhong Yu6, Andrew Freedman6, Max Trueblood5, David Satterfield5, Wenyan Liu5, Patrick Oßwald2, Claire Robinson3,4, Michael A. Shook3, Richard H. Moore3, and Prem Lobo1 Joel C. Corbin et al.
  • 1Metrology Research Centre, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 2German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Combustion Technology, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 3NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA
  • 4Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton Virginia, USA
  • 5Department of Chemistry, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri, USA
  • 6Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, USA

Abstract. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) have different compositions compared to conventional petroleum jet fuels, particularly in terms of fuel sulphur and hydrocarbon content. These differences may change the amount and physicochemical properties of volatile and non-volatile particulate matter (nvPM) emitted by aircraft engines. In this study, we evaluate whether comparable nvPM measurement techniques respond similarly to nvPM produced by three blends of SAFs compared to three conventional fuels. Multiple SAF blends and conventional (Jet A-1) jet fuels were combusted in a V2527-A5 engine, while an additional conventional fuel (JP-8) was combusted in a CFM56-2C1 engine.

We evaluated nvPM mass concentration measured by three real-time sampling techniques: photoacoustic spectroscopy, laser-induced incandescence, and the extinction-minus-scattering technique. Various commercial instruments were tested including three LII 300s, one PAX, one MSS+, and two CAPS PMSSA. Mass-based emission indices (EIm) reported by these techniques were similar, falling within 30 % of their geometric mean for EIm above 100 mg/kgfuel (approximately 10 μg PM m−3 at the instrument), this geometric mean was therefore used as a reference value. Additionally, two integrative measurement techniques were evaluated: filter photometry and particle size distribution (PSD) integration. The commercial instruments used were one TAP, one PSAP, and two SMPSs. These techniques are used in specific applications, such as on-board research aircraft to determine PM emissions at cruise. EIm reported by the alternative techniques fell within approximately 50 % of the mean aerosol-phase EIm.

In addition, we measured PM-number-based emissions indices using PSDs and condensation particle counters. The commercial instruments used included TSI SMPSs, a Cambustion DMS500, and an AVL APC, and the data also fell within approximately 50 % of their geometric mean. The number-based emission indices were highly sensitive to the accuracy of the sampling-line penetration functions applied as corrections. In contrast, the EIm data were less sensitive to those corrections since a smaller volume fraction fell within the size range where corrections were substantial. A separate, dedicated experiment also showed that the operating laser fluence used in the LII 300 laser-induced incandescence instrument for aircraft engine nvPM measurement is adequate for a range of SAF blends investigated in this study. Overall, we conclude that all tested instruments are suitable for the measurement of nvPM emissions from the combustion of SAF blends in aircraft engines.

Joel C. Corbin et al.

Status: open (until 07 Feb 2022)

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Joel C. Corbin et al.

Joel C. Corbin et al.


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Short summary
The combustion of sustainable aviation fuels in aircraft engines produces particulate matter (PM) emissions with different properties than conventional fuels due to changes in fuel composition. Consequently, the response of various diagnostic instruments to PM emissions may be impacted. We found no significant instrument biases in terms of particle mass, number, and size measurements for conventional and sustainable aviation fuel blends despite large differences in the magnitude of emissions.