Aviation gasoline is the only fuel in the world that still contains lead. Soon, 100-octane low lead aircraft fuel (100LL) will be discontinued because of the tetra-ethyl-lead (TEL), which is added at the refinery, and is highly toxic. Current high performance aircraft piston engines require this 100LL to operate without failure at the higher power settings. The move to unleaded fuels is fast approaching and no viable alternative fuels have been found that these higher power piston engines can use without incurring damage or greatly decreasing operational limitations.
Mr. Ehresman plans to continue developing a direct injection fuel nozzle system that would allow numerous types of fuels to be used in current high-performance aircraft piston engines, including jet fuel, diesel, kerosene and other liquid fuels. Elimination of TEL will not only improve the air quality as lead is removed from fuel emissions, but would also allow refineries to consolidate refining operations and reduce fuel infrastructures, further reducing harmful emissions, risk of spills/pipeline lead and lower consumer fuel prices.
This aviation grant is sponsored by Lycoming Engines.
A second year of funding for this research has been sponsored by the Stanford Financial Group.