Elimination of Microbial Contamination in Aviation Fuels
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Uncontrolled microbial contamination in fuels can cause both fuel and equipment biodeterioration. Common symptoms of fuel biodeterioration include but are not limited to increased corrosivity, decreased oxidative stability and decreased energy value. In order to prevent microbial contamination from developing inside aircraft tanks, the treatment system must reduce the bioburden to below the threshold population size. The two primary strategies for killing microbes are chemical and physical. Chemical treatment entails the use of a microbicidal additive. The USAF is reluctant to use microbicides due to their toxicity. The alternative is physical treatment. The objective of the proposed research program will be to develop a non-additive based technology to eliminate microbial contamination from aviation fuels located in different segments of the fuel delivery and storage process. The system will be designed primarily as a final stage fuel treatment apparatus that can be mounted at fueling hydrants to ensure that microbes present in delivered kerosene-grade fuel are below the threshold population size. The system will be designed to be scalable in order to be usable at different stages of the fuel transportation infrastructure from pipeline to aircraft. BENEFIT: Uncontrolled microbial contamination in fuel systems costs an estimated $4 billion as microbially influenced corrosion damage to infrastructure and product degradation. Commercial airline operators estimate that remediating contaminated aircraft wing tanks combined lost revenues while aircraft are out of service for decontamination costs > $2 million per event. Other high-value, purturbence-sensitive fuel systems include diesel and gas turbine power generation systems. The commercialized version of the proposed disinfection system, installed at military and commercial airports, and power generation facilities will eliminate the need for toxic microbicidal chemicals and substantially reduce the adverse costs of uncontrolled microbial contamination in fuels and fuel systems.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Biodeterioration Control Associates, inc.
3 Carlyle Ct. PO Box 3659 Princeton, NJ 08543
Number of Employees: