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Title: The rate of oxygen evolution from aviation turbine fuel within aircraft fuel tanks
Author: Harris, Adam Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 4976
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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Managing the effects of dissolved air evolution from aviation fuel has presented long-standing issues for the design and operation of aircraft fuel systems. This phenomenon, known colloquially as fuel outgassing, is responsible for a broad spectrum of fuel system issues, including; increased fuel tank flammability, two-phase flow in pipes, fuel pump cavitation and fuel tank over- pressurisation. The rate and effects of oxygen evolution from Jet A-I aviation turbine fuel is studied here using experimental techniques, dimensional modelling and aircraft flight testing. The rate of fuel agitation present within a laboratory fuel tank was demonstrated to have the greatest effect on the rate of oxygen evolution from the fuel. Oxygen evolution rate increased hyperbolic ally with increasing fuel agitation rate under pressure and temperature conditions consistent with an aircraft fuel tank during flight. Dimensional modelling was used to estimate the rate of oxygen evolution in an Airbus A320-200 aircraft fuel tank from measurements made on a dimensionally similar laboratory model. The extrapolated rate of oxygen evolution from similarity laws was found to be over 200% greater in the A320 inner wing fuel tank than that measured in the laboratory model. Further work is required to validate the similarity laws of fuel outgassing with flight test data if dimensional modelling is to be adopted for estimating fuel outgassing rates in aircraft fuel tank flammability studies. Flight testing on an Airbus A340-300 aircraft revealed the effect of fuel outgassing on a nitrogen inerted Centre Wing Fuel Tank (CWT) ullage to be minimal. CWT ullage oxygen concentration increased primarily due to atmospheric air inspired via the vent system, resulting from a reducing fuel quantity in the CWT. This unexpected result is believed to have been influenced by a combination of the fuel's tendency to absorb nitrogen from the ullage during CWT refuel, a large ullage to fuel ratio and near quiescent CWT fuel conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available