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: Catching grease to cut grill pollution

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researcher seeks upgrades for cleaner oilsands

Jul 16, 2014

We live in a province rich in fossil fuel resources, and great profits can be made from them. However, the use of these fossil fuels comes at a significant environmental cost. The greenhouse gas emissions ...

Process holds promise for production of synthetic gasoline

Dec 02, 2013

A chemical system developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago can efficiently perform the first step in the process of creating syngas, gasoline and other energy-rich products out of carbon dioxide.

Recommended for you

Share button may share your browsing history, too

4 hours ago

One in 18 of the world's top 100,000 websites track users without their consent using a previously undetected cookie-like tracking mechanism embedded in 'share' buttons. A new study by researchers at KU Leuven ...

Self-cooling solar cells boost power, last longer

4 hours ago

Scientists may have overcome one of the major hurdles in developing high-efficiency, long-lasting solar cells—keeping them cool, even in the blistering heat of the noonday Sun.

Verizon 2Q profit rises 93 percent

5 hours ago

Verizon reported Tuesday that its second-quarter earnings nearly doubled after it secured full ownership of Verizon Wireless.

User comments : 0