Aviation Fuels - Physical and Combustion Properties

In This Section

Aviation Fuels: Physical and Combustion Properties


Aviation fuel physical and combustion properties are critical to the performance of air-breathing propulsion systems. In light of the changing composition of conventional fossil-derived aviation fuels and continuing efforts to develop alternative aviation fuels, fuel properties and the modeling of fuel combustion will become increasingly important. In this short course the physical and combustion properties of both conventional and alternative aviation fuels are described with an emphasis on recent developments on the variability of composition, distillation, transport, and combustion properties. Modeling treatments for aviation fuel kinetics and reduced kinetics for implementation in combustion simulations are presented.

Key Topics:

  • Conventional and alternative aviation fuels
  • Physical properties of aviation fuels
  • Combustion properties of aviation fuels
  • Modeling aviation fuel combustion: surrogates, kinetic mechanisms, implementation of kinetics.

Who Should Attend:

This course is intended for engineers and scientists interesting in broadening their knowledge and familiarizing themselves with conventional and alternative aviation fuels, their physical and combustion properties, the kinetic modeling of aviation fuel combustion, and the implications for air-breathing propulsion systems.

Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course

Course Information:

Course Level: Intermediate

Course scheduling available in the following format:

  • Course at Conference
  • On-site Course
  • Standalone/Public Course

Course Length: 1 day (approx 6 hours)
AIAA CEU's available: yes


Course Outline:


I. Aviation fuel physical properties
II. ASTM standards
a. Molecular composition of conventional and alternative aviation fuels
b. Distillation
c. Transport properties
III. Aviation fuel combustion properties
a. Autoignition
b. Flame speed
c. Flame extinction
d. Emissions
e. Reaction pathways
IV. Modeling aviation fuel combustion
V. Fuel surrogates: physical and chemical
VI. Detailed and reduced mechanisms
VII. Implementation of kinetics in combustion modeling


Course Materials:

Since course notes will not be distributed onsite, AIAA and your course instructor highly recommend that you bring your computer with the course notes already downloaded to the course. 

Once you have registered for the course, these course notes are available about two weeks prior to the course event, and remain available to you in perpetuity. 



Course Instructor:

Dr. Matthew Oehlschlaeger is an Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in mechanical and aerospace engineering. His research interests are in the areas of combustion, propulsion, fuels, optical diagnostics, and energetic nanomaterials. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work on fuel kinetics.