New approach removes sulfur from military-grade fuel

Mar 29, 2006

The military needs to get the sulfur out of its fuel, in order to use the fuel to produce hydrogen for fuel cell use in the field. Fuel cells can generate the electricity necessary to power electronic gadgets and facilitate communications, while avoiding use of generators that are noisy and create heat signatures.

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a compact and rugged microchannel distillation unit to create a light fraction of JP-8, the standard military fuel. The JP-8 light fraction is then reacted in a catalytic process called hydrodesulfurization, in order to remove the sulfur from the fuel. Conventional technology utilizes hydrogen as the co-reactant with JP-8 to power the process, but it is not available in the field. Syngas can be generated by steam reforming of the purified fuel.

Most of the syngas is further purified for use by the fuel cell, but a fraction of the syngas is diverted to the hydrodesulfurization unit. The use of syngas creates some challenges, but it appears that they have been mostly overcome in the PNNL process, and syngas performs almost as well as pure hydrogen.

Gas phase operation of the process allows significant increase in throughput and decrease in operating pressure compared with conventional technology. Residual sulfur concentration in the hydrodesulfurized fuel below five parts per million has been obtained.

Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Explore further: Most internet anonymity software leaks users' details

Related Stories

NETL invents improved oxygen carriers

Feb 24, 2015

One of the keys to the successful deployment of chemical looping technologies is the development of affordable, high performance oxygen carriers. One potential solution is the naturally-occurring iron oxide, ...

Coal gas boom in China holds climate change risks

Aug 22, 2014

Deep in the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, twin smoke stacks rise more than 200 feet into the sky, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. Both day and night, the rumble ...

New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel

Jul 30, 2014

Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing ...

Recommended for you

Most internet anonymity software leaks users' details

19 minutes ago

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are legal and increasingly popular for individuals wanting to circumvent censorship, avoid mass surveillance or access geographically limited services like Netflix and BBC ...

In the UK, bPay offers fob, band or sticker options

1 hour ago

Method of payment: "Cash or credit?" The two options sound so yesterday. In the UK, technology support in banking offers a new type of menu—band on the wrist, fob or sticker. The three new devices from ...

WikiLeaks says NSA spied on French business

1 hour ago

WikiLeaks has released documents that it says show that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on France's top finance officials and high-stakes French export bids over a decade in what the group called targeted economic ...

Feds shut down background check database over flaw

3 hours ago

The federal personnel agency whose records were plundered by hackers linked to China announced on Monday the temporary shutdown of a massive database used to update and store background investigation records ...

Disney merges consumer product, interactive divisions

3 hours ago

Disney is merging its consumer product and interactive divisions, a move that acknowledges the shared goals of important product lines like the Disney Infinity video game franchise and the upcoming line of wearable toys called ...

Google gets extended deadline to answer EU case

3 hours ago

Brussels has given Google an extension until mid-August to answer an anti-trust case alleging that the tech giant abuses its search engine's market dominance, a company spokesman said Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.