The contribution of the aviation sector to global greenhouse gas emissions can be tackled with a net-zero fuel formulated at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Developed through modeling and computation analysis, the sustainable fuel consists of a slurry of magnesium hydride, which releases water vapor and magnesium oxide nanoparticles on combustion. The magnesium oxide can react with carbon dioxide and water in the engine plume or atmosphere to form magnesium carbonate or magnesium bicarbonate, effectively capturing the greenhouse gas.

When tested with n-dodecane as a surrogate hydrocarbon jet fuel, the magnesium hydride slurry was determined to afford planes the range for long-haul flights, due in part to the lower volume required for combustion than a typical aviation fuel.

The researchers theorize that using a biofuel as the hydrocarbon surrogate in this slurry with magnesium hydride could potentially lead to net negative emissions.

The research is published in the journal Fuel.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com