Missouri S&T researchers developing aircraft emissions testing

Posted by
On January 22, 2008

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have been
awarded a $579,951 grant from the Naval Air War Center to study aviation
emissions at the university’s Center of Excellence for Aerospace Particulate
Emissions Research.

The funds will be used to continue research into a testing method that will
allow scientists to accurately gauge the impact of jet aircraft emissions on
the environment.

The team at Missouri S&T, led by Dr. Philip D. Whitefield, chair of
chemistry and director of the Center of Excellence for Aerospace Particulate
Emissions Research, and Dr. Donald E. Hagen, professor of physics and director
of Missouri S&T’s Cloud and Aerosol Sciences Laboratory, was awarded a 2007
Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The award was given for the team’s work in developing the emissions test
method. The Missouri S&T group is part of a larger consortium called the
Joint Strike Fighter Emissions Test Development Team.

The six-month grant will fund the last phase of development of the testing
method, in which researchers will deliver a draft test method, conduct a
demonstration and compile a report that will be presented to the EPA and U.S.
Navy. Whitefield says the testing method also will be considered by the Society
of Automotive Engineers and may become part of an internationally accepted
method of testing commercial aircraft.

“It would be a tremendous accomplishment for this university,” Whitefield

The testing method developed by the Joint Strike Fighter Test Development
Team characterizes emissions using state-of-the-art instrumentation and will
serve as a test bed to advance the scientific basis of environmental decision
making. The EPA’s current method of testing does not measure critical
environmental criteria, including particle size, distribution and chemical

Also, two one-year grants totaling $450,000 from the U.S. Department of
Transportation will fund research into the emissions characteristics of
alternative aviation fuels. Whitefield and his colleagues have tested fuels
made from coal and other biomass, as well as fuels made from plant oil. They
now are analyzing data to determine the nature of the emissions in comparison
to those of conventional fuels.

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On January 22, 2008. Posted in Research