Autothermal Non-Catalytic Reformation of Jet Fuel in a Supercritical Water Medium


The non-catalytic reformation of jet fuel using supercritical water was studied in a specially designed 0.4-L Haynes Alloy 230 tubular reactor. In this process, supercritical water functions as a highly energized reforming agent and also as a homogenizing reaction medium. Experiments were performed in a continuous mode at a constant pressure of 24.1 MPa and a constant temperature of 770 ºC with various space times. The experiments were conducted with and without air flow so as to examine the effects of the concurrent partial oxidation in supercritical water on the overall reformation process efficiency. The reactor effluent gas consisted of H2, N2, CO2, CO and CH4 with smaller concentrations of C2H6. The raw concentration of hydrogen in the effluent stream was as high as 45%. It is found that the water gas shift reaction proceeds in the forward direction to a significant extent in the supercritical water mixture, even without the presence of any heterogeneous water gas shift catalyst. It is also established that the addition of sub-stoichiometric amounts of air, as an oxygen source, does not adversely affect the production of hydrogen gas under certain conditions while increasing carbon conversion and in-situ heat generation through partial oxidation. The exothermic heat generated in-situ by partial oxidation is to provide the energy necessary for the endothermic reformation reaction of the jet fuel, thus achieving an autothermal mode of reactor operation. In this paper, the chemical mechanisms of the novel process are elucidated based on the experimental data.

Meeting Name

2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting (2007: Nov. 4-9, Salt Lake City, UT)


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Jet Fuel; Non-catalytic Reformation; Supercritical Water

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

09 Nov 2007