Welcome to the next generation of aviation fuels.
According to an EPA press release, “Lead has been blended with gasoline, primarily to boost octane levels, since the early 1920s. EPA began working to reduce lead emissions soon after its inception, issuing the first reduction standards in 1973, which called for a gradual phasedown of lead to one tenth of a gram per gallon by 1986. The average lead content in gasoline in 1973 was 2-3 grams per gallon or about 200,000 tons of lead a year. In 1975, passenger cars and light trucks were manufactured with a more elaborate emission control system which included a catalytic converter that required lead-free fuel. In 1995 leaded fuel accounted for only 0.6 percent of total gasoline sales and less than 2,000 tons of lead per year. Effective January 1, 1996, the Clean Air Act banned the sale of the small amount of leaded fuel that was still available in some parts of the country for use in on-road vehicles. EPA said fuel containing lead may continue to be sold for off-road uses, including aircraft, racing cars, farm equipment, and marine engines.”
Reference: EPA press release
Unlike the current process of refining crude oil to arrive at a final fuel, we synthetically create hydrocarbons from bio-mass. This creation method is superior to the existing refining method because we maintain control over the entire process giving us the flexibility to meet or exceed current ASTM specifications.
Swift Enterprises, Ltd. has developed an unleaded 100LL replacement fuel, called 100SF. It exceeds the energy content and octane number of conventional 100LL. The new fuel contains two chemical components that when mixed together meet or exceed most performance parameters of 100LL. Because of this, 100SF requires minimal engine modification to run in the current general aviation fleet. 100SF does not abstract water, which means that standard general aviation practices of draining a sample of fuel and checking for water still hold true.
The components that make up 100SF are bio-derivable (sugars, cellulose, and lignin). Using sorghum as an example, 89 gallons of 100SF can be produced from 1 ton of sorghum biomass. The fuel contains no alcohol or oxygenates, but ethanol and ethanol plants can be used in the production process. The uniqueness of this approach is the fact that the Swift process does not produce alcohol, but rather hydrocarbons already present in petroleum fuels, from biomass. The existing infrastructure of the bio-ethanol industry can be used to produce 100SF; the major process equipment is the same.100SF can be produced from any organic matter that contains sugars or cellulose components. The components derived from biomass are reacted to form pure hydrocarbons. 100SF is comprised of two specific hydrocarbon components which ensure 100SF constancy from batch to batch.
Chemical production is the defining step in the overall program. The laboratory syntheses of these compounds have been verified and this data has been used to construct a pilot plant. Concurrently, engine tests have been run, and will continue to be run, to verify the performance, safety, emissions, and long term stability parameters of 100SF. The general aviation fuel market is estimated at 350,000,000 gallons per year. Ten small plants, distributed around the United States, would cover the general aviation market, and assure a stable price. Projected costs are below current production costs for petroleum due to the lower number of process steps and the independence on biomass “type.”
The advantages of SwiftFuel are:
- Seamless replacement of 100LL (no engine modifications)
- 15% increase in range over 100LL (no oxygenates)
- 20% drop in pollutants over the current 100LL fuel
- 15% more volumetric energy than 100LL
- No need for stabilizers or additives
- Some other benefits include:
- Lower exhaust emissions
- 104 Motor octane fuel
- Completely miscible with 100LL
- NO deterioration in octane over time
- Does NOT contain Ethanol
- High lubricity
- Production flexibility with a wide variety of viable feedstocks
- Crops other than food stock can be used
- Utilization of existing infrastructure for distribution
- Independence from foreign oil
- No harmful and boutique chemicals – ETBE, TEL, MTBE
- Stable over time, can be density checked for quality
- 2 pure components rather than 78 (with 100LL)
- Inside-out vs. Outside-in distribution
- General aviation can be first transportation sector using carbon neutral sustainable fuel