Alternative fuels research
Technical service highlights
Rising operational costs, environmental concerns and regulatory requirementshave aircraft operators and manufacturers searching for sustainable, safe andcost-effective alternatives to petroleum-based fuels.
Working with clients and collaborators, NRC conducts research into alternative fuels and technical services related to feedstock (raw materials) identification anddevelopment, biomass conversion, fuel performance validation and emissions assessment.
Clients that turn to NRC for alternative fuels research services include:aircraft and engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), aircraft operators,fuel producers, and feedstock developers and processors.
NRC also collaborates with regulatory authorities, standards organizationsand government agencies, including Transport Canada, Environment Canada, NASA,the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), ASTM International, and Germany’s DLRAerospace Research Center and Space Agency.
What we offer
NRC carries out a variety of alternative fuel testing and research services,including:
Engine qualification testing
During engine qualification tests we assess performance, operability,endurance and emissions using state-of-the-art gas turbine engine test cells.
We perform static engine qualification tests in support of certification forturbofan, turbojet and turboshaft engines.
Modifications to components and fuel systems
Our experts understand the types of modifications that components and fuelsystems may require to accommodate alternative fuels instead of conventional fuels.
Assessment of materials and coating compatibility
Using various tests, we evaluate alternative fuels to ensure they do not negativelyimpact the durability of aviation materials and protective coatings. Our testmethods cover metallic and non-metallic materials and involve controlledenvironment testing, according to ASTM standards.
Characterizing of emissions
In our test cells, we measure gaseous and particulate matter emissions duringstatic tests. We can also assess alternative fuels for airborne performance andwe characterize and measure in-flight emissions.
When the time comes for our clients to take their tests to the sky, our Flight test andevaluation team has skilled pilots, customized aircraft and the required flight permits, which allow us to operate experimental configurations. Three ofour nine airborne labs are ideal for alternative fuel tests, including high-altitude environmental research.
We also have the technical capabilities ranging from high-pressure spray testing, heated fuel characterization, high-pressure combustor testing and test cell simulated altitude testing.
Why work with us
- De-risking product design and development
- Better informing decision-making for product development
- Drawing upon a national, multidisciplinary team with experience ranging fromraw materials through to engine performance
- Assessing, in a safe environment, how alternative fuels will affect productsin real-world situations
By working with NRC, clients can promote their product development. They willalso receive quality data, which can support product certifications bytransportation and other regulatory authorities to meet environmental requirements and compliance.
Clients can leverage NRC’s multidisciplinary and comprehensive expertise inthe area of alternative fuels. NRC is the only Canadian organization toundertake seed-to-sky research on alternative fuels, spanning pre-feedstockstages through to fuel performance testing on ground and in air.
NRC’s Optically Accessible Combustion Rig possesses five-way optical accessto cater to any state-of-the-art laser-based combustion and fuel diagnostics.
NRC has the unique competitive advantage of being able to draw from a varietyof experts across the organization’s research areas to contribute to researchand testing of alternative fuels. Our team of experts in alternative fuelsincludes microbiologists, biotechnologists and biochemists, as well astechnicians, mechanical engineers and aerospace engineers.
To complement our aerospace technical competencies, our NRC colleagues inlife sciences identify and develop high-yield bioresources such as algae strainsand oilseed crops. They also create and demonstrate scalable technologies,effectual extraction methodologies and efficient bioreactors for biomass.
The team also contributes to broader NRC and federal initiatives involvingnational and international collaborators.
NRC’s vast aerospace research facilities and testing services include:materials and structures testing, Aerospace manufacturing technologies, flight vehicle aerodynamics, gas turbine research, aerodynamics of bluff bodies, aerospace structures and materials performance, as well as automation, robotics and intelligent manufacturing systems.
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