August 3, 2018

New technology targets copper contamination in jet fuel

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED
PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED

Precision Combustion Inc. (PCI) of North Haven has won a Department of Defense Navy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to develop its new filter technology for eliminating copper contaminant from the U.S. Navy's JP-5 aircraft fuel.

Maintenance costs from copper contamination are projected at $1 billion annually for the Navy's fleet and Joint Strike Fighter programs — a figure that has stimulated keen interest in devising a solution. Current fuel piping on aircraft carriers, and in supply ships, contains copper nickel alloys, a primary contamination source that results in additional aircraft maintenance and decreased performance.

PCI's solution is based on a new filter containing unique sorbents to remove metal contaminants while preserving fuel and additive properties. End costs are minimized due to targeted high capacity, simple operation and cartridge-replacement ease of renewal.

PCI expects to develop the low cost copper mitigation product to install on aircraft carriers' existing JP-5 shipboard fueling systems with the capacity to process fuel at a rate of several hundred gallons per minute. There is in addition the potential to reduce aircraft maintenance costs by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

According to PCI President Kevin Burns: "This is an important issue, and we're glad to have won this project. We're happy working with our Navy customer and our partners, and this chance to help our armed forces. We're also working on developing spin-off applications for other fueling systems."

Headquartered in North Haven, PCI is a clean energy technology innovator focused on energy-sector applications.

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