Fuel Purifier to Eliminate Copper Contamination
Navy SBIR FY2018.1


Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-071
Topic Title: Fuel Purifier to Eliminate Copper Contamination
Proposal No.: N181-071-0894
Firm: TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033
Contact: Gokhan Alptekin
Phone: (303) 940-2349
Web Site: http://www.tda.com
Abstract: As jet fuel flows through the CuNi fuel lines in aircraft fueling system and subsystems, copper is dissolved into the fuel. This copper contamination in the fuel is a problem because the copper catalyzes oxidation reactions that cause hydrocarbons in the fuel to decompose to elemental carbon and form deposits on fuel lines, valves, injectors, and combustion chamber surfaces in engines TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) proposes to develop a novel sorbent-based chemical filtration system to produce copper-free fuel for aircraft engines. TDA?Ts sorbent consists of a mesoporous sorbent that is modified with surface functional groups have been shown to be highly active for binding Cu2+ ions. TDA?Ts proprietary mesoporous organo-alumina sorbent is produced by chemically modifying low-cost commercially available boehmite. The structure of our sorbent provides high surface area, large pores for good mass transfer, and a large population of copper trapping groups. The sorbent filter can be fitted into a compact cartridge that can be placed directly into the fueling system. The sorbent works at ambient temperature. The passive filter does not need any specialty gases or solvents.
Benefits: The value proposition for this technology lies in the $1 billion each year of maintenance costs directly from copper contamination in fuel experienced by the military fleet, and reducing commercial airline maintenance costs. The copper contaminants in the fuel work as highly active catalysts in the oxidation reactions that cause hydrocarbons in the fuel to decompose to elemental carbon and form deposits on fuel lines, valves, injectors, and combustion chamber surfaces in engines. For commercial airlines, in 2014, there were 24,597 aircraft in the global fleet and airlines spent $62.1 billion on maintenance, repair and overhaul. Another large application for our technology is as a new material for use as a catalyst and sorbent support. The global catalyst market is growing at 4.2% a year and is projected to reach $34.3 billion by 2024.

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