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UDRI Researcher Honored

UDRI Researcher Honored for Helping Low-Cost Additive Package for Fuel

Steven S. Zabarnick's work to help develop a low-cost additive package for military fuel that can save the Air Force more than $10 million annually has garnered him this year's top research award from the University of Dayton Research Institute.

Zabarnick, a UDRI research chemist, and a team of UDRI, Air Force and industry researchers developed an additive package for JP-8, a military fuel. Dubbed JP-8+100 because the additive package can increase the thermal stability of military fuel by 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the improved fuel helps prevent gums and deposits that can foul fuel lines. The fuel additive package, which adds a fraction of a cent per gallon to the cost of military fuel, has been field tested at more than a dozen Air National Guard bases.

"The Air Force has already observed substantial savings in maintenance-related costs and estimates that maintenance costs savings will be in excess of $10 million per year," said Dilip R. Ballal, group leader of UDRI's fuels and combustion group, who nominated his colleague for the 1997-98 Wohlleben-Hochwalt Outstanding Professional Research Award. "This newly developed fuel may also be used one day in commercial aviation, especially supersonic aircraft, which generate significant quantities of heat that needs to be dissipated by the fuel. The international commercial aviation community consumes substantially larger amounts than the U.S. military. The cost savings could be enormous."

As part of the five-year project for the Air Force Research Laboratory, researchers tested more than 400 fuel additives and additive combinations from a number of manufacturers. Zabarnick's work on the project included developing a model that predicts jet fuel oxidation and deposits and a jet fuel stability test. "My main contribution was in using fundamental studies of additive behavior to combine additives into combinations -- called additive packages -- which reduced deposition over a wide range of fuels with various oxidation characteristics," he said.

His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at a number of national and international conferences.

Zabarnick and the research team are now working under a new five-year Air Force contract to develop three new military fuels to power the next generation of high speed aircraft, such as the Joint Strike Fighter.

"The JP-8+100 fuel will be used as a baseline fuel for future high-temperature, advanced fuels," Zabarnick said. "A number of Air Force bases are already flying with this fuel."

Zabarnick won one of four honors bestowed on UDRI personnel. Steven R. Smith, research physicist, received the Wohlleben-Hochwalt Professional Research Certificate of Merit for his work to advance knowledge about silicon carbide materials for high-power applications. John D. Camping won the Outstanding Technician Award, and Monica J. Martin earned the Outstanding Support Person Award.

May 5, 1998

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