Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Mary Johnson

Committee Chair

Mary Johnson

Committee Member 1

Denver Lopp

Committee Member 2

David Stanley


The aviation industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 5% until the year 2031 according to Boeing Outlook Report of 2012. Although the aerospace manufacturers have introduced new aircraft and engines technologies to reduce the emissions generated by aircraft engines, about 15% of all aircraft in 2032 will be using the older technologies. Therefore, agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Astronautics Administration (NASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) among others together with some academic institutions have been working to characterize both physical and chemical characteristics of the aircraft particulate matter emissions to further understand their effects to the environment. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is also working to establish an inventory with Particulate Matter emissions for all the aircraft turbine engines for certification purposes. This steps comes as a result of smoke measurements not being sufficient to provide detailed information on the effects of Particulate Matter (PM) emissions as far as the health and environmental concerns. The use of alternative fuels is essential to reduce the impacts of emissions released by Jet engines since alternative aviation fuels have been studied to lower particulate matter emissions in some types of engines families. ^ The purpose of this study was to determine whether the emission indices of the biofuel blended fuels were lower than the emission indices of the traditional jet fuel at selected engine thrust settings. The biofuel blends observed were 75% Jet A-25% Camelina blend biofuel, and 50% Jet A-50% Jet A blend biofuel. The traditional jet fuel in this study was the Jet A fuel. The results of this study may be useful in establishing a baseline for aircraft engines' PM inventory. Currently the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) engines emissions database contains only gaseous emissions data for only the TFE 731 and JT15D engines' families as representatives of other engines with rated thrust of 6000 pounds or below. The results of this study may be used to add to the knowledge of PM emission data that has been collected in other research studies. ^ This study was quantitative in nature. Three factors were designated which were the types of fuels studied. The TFE-109 turbofan engine was the experimental subject. The independent variable was the engine thrust setting while the response variable was the emission index. Four engine runs were conducted for each fuel. In each engine run, four engine thrust settings were observed. The four engine thrust levels were 10%, 30%, 85%, and 100% rated thrusts levels. Therefore, for each engine thrust settings, there four replicates. The experiments were conducted using a TFE-109 engine test cell located in the Niswonger Aviation Technology building at the Purdue University Airport. The testing facility has the capability to conduct the aircraft PM emissions tests. Due to the equipment limitations, the study was limited to observe total PM emissions instead of specifically measuring the non-volatile PM emissions. The results indicate that the emissions indices of the blended biofuels were not statistically significantly lower compared to the emissions of the traditional jet fuel at rated thrust levels of 100% and 85% of TFE-109 turbofan engine. However, the emission indices for the 50%Jet A - 50%Camelina biofuel blend were statistically significantly lower compared to the emission indices of the 100% Jet A fuel at 10% and 30% engine rated thrusts levels of TFE-109 engine. The emission indices of the 50%-50% biofuel blend were lower by reductions of 15% and 17% at engine rated thrusts of 10% and 30% respectively compared to the emissions indices of the traditional jet fuel at the same engine thrust levels. ^ Experimental modifications in future studies may provide estimates of the emissions indices range for this particular engine these estimates may be used to estimate the levels of PM emissions for other similar engines. Additional measurements steps such as heating of the sampling line, sampling dilution application, sampling line loss estimates, and calculations of the sampling line PM residence times will also be useful future results.