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.

Course Information:
Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Level: Intermediate
Course Length: 1 day
AIAA CEU's available: Yes



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



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.


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