University of Kentucky CAER Home

Clean Fuels Research


Published in Aviation Week & Space Technology in the August 6, 2007 issue, page 13. Edited by Edward H. Phillips

Printed headline: Fueling Around

CAER Reactor

NASA Glenn Research Center has begun renovation of Building 109 at its Cleveland campus for use as an alternate jet fuels test facility, and is acquiring three Fischer-Tropsch reactors supplied by the University of Kentucky for testing purposes. Glenn is spending $439,000 for equipment to be installed in the facility. The reactors (see photo) cost $149,000. The university's Center for Applied Energy Research has specialized in the Fischer-Tropsch process for 15 years. It is focusing on refining the coal-to-liquids conversion and reducing or capturing carbon dioxide generated by the conversion. NASA Glenn's Chi-Ming Lee, chief of the combustion branch, is leading a team that is exploring alternatives to petroleum-based fuel, including synthetics made from coal, natural gas and other non-petroleum sources, and biofuels from renewable sources. Glenn's research is looking primarily at improving combustion performance and reducing emissions in advanced engine designs. In addition, plans call for developing a set of predictive tools related to fuel composition and for combustor performance. Another goal is to reduce capital costs associated with synthetic jet-fuel production.


Permission granted by NASA to place story on the CAER web site.