Wings Magazine

NRC, NASA to collaborate on alternative fuels tests

May 6, 2014, Ottawa - The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has signed a collaborative agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. With this cooperative work, NRC will take part in NASA's ACCESS II project, the Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions.

May 6, 2014  By Carey Fredericks

Beginning tomorrow, the ACCESS-II experiments will be staged from NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. Testing will involve the deployment of NRC's CT-133 aircraft to Palmdale, California, to fly alongside aircrafts from NASA and the German Aerospace Center. The objective of the experiments is to obtain inflight airborne emission measurements and contrail characteristics from aircraft burning both conventional jet fuel and blended alternative fuels.

The collaboration on ACCESS-II will result in the collection of complementary and unique flight test data that will be shared and reported to the International Forum for Aviation Research. This important research will aid in the qualification and ready acceptance of the use of biofuels in aviation and open the door to future collaborations on alternative fuels tests.

Quick Facts

  • In March 2014, the NRC Falcon and CT-133 planes measured comparative emissions from two fuels (conventional JetA1 fuel and HEFA 50/50 biofuel) which powered the Falcon in cruise. This research was in preparation for ACCESS-II and was sponsored by Transport Canada's Clean Transportation initiative.  
  • These experiments are important because airborne emissions may affect the radiative-forcing aspect of global warming.   
  • The NASA Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions project examine the aerosol and gas emissions from an aircraft under a variety of different fuel types, engine power, altitude and meteorological conditions.

"NRC is proud to take part in this international effort to understand the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. This work to investigate greener alternatives for aviation fuel benefits the aerospace industry in Canada and around the world. In 2012, the results from our historic civil 100 per cent biofuel flight showed that an unblended biofuel was cleaner than conventional Jet A1 fuel, without sacrificing efficiency," said
Jerzy Komorowski, General Manager, Aerospace, NRC.


"Partnering with our German and Canadian colleagues allows us to combine our expertise and resources as we work together to solve the challenges common to the global aviation community such as understanding emission characteristics from the use of alternative fuels which presents a great potential for significant reductions in harmful emissions.," added Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research, NASA.


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