Story Photo
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Additive Could Lead to Safer Jet Fuel
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discovered a fuel additive that may make jet fuel safer. During a crash, jet fuel can easily engulf an entire plane in flames. The issue involves ‘misting’. When the misted fuel from inside a jet engine finds its way outside, it ignites and spreads quickly. This polymeric fuel additive controls fuel misting, without impacting performance. It allows misting during fuel injection in the engine, but inhibits it during crash conditions. The image reveals a test comparing untreated jet fuel (top) to treated jet fuel (bottom).