SwiftFuel meets new ASTM standard

Swift Enterprises, Ltd. has been developing an unleaded replacement for aviation gasoline for the last five years, called 100SF. One of the milestones in the path to commercialization of the new fuel is the publication of a specification by ASTM International that defines their fuel. That happened in early May when ASTM International approved a new fuel specification, ASTM D7719 Standard Specification for High Octane Unleaded Test Fuel, for Grade UL102 unleaded aviation gasoline. Company officials report that 100SF meets the performance parameters for Grade UL102.

In order to ensure the continued safe operation of every aircraft/engine in the fleet, this specification is modeled after ASTM D910, the current specification for 100LL, officials add.

“The approval of this standard is a major part of the process for getting this fuel to market,” said PJ Catania, the head of fuels certification and member of ASTM International for Swift Enterprises.

Swift officials began development of an unleaded, high-octane replacement for 100LL aviation gasoline because of rumors of the coming demise of the leaded gasoline. In recent months, the issue of leaded fuels being used in general aviation has come to the forefront. This has further opened the industry to searching for a viable replacement for 100LL, such as UL102. In the beginning of 2011, the FAA formed an Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee to focus on the current issues relating to the transition to an unleaded avgas.

ASTM D7719 does not yet allow for UL102 to be sold at airports commercially but does allow Swift to test UL102 in non-Experimental aircraft, eliminating significant time and expenses from each industry testing program, company officials said. Another major advantage of a test fuel specification such as D7719 is that it ensures that test fuel delivered by Swift to individual test agencies meets the same performance parameters every time, guaranteeing consistency in the tests and fuel quality. With the test fuel specification now accomplished, Swift will focus on working with industry partners to gather additional data to transform D7719 into a commercial specification, company officials said.

For more information: SwiftEnterprises.com, ASTM.org

 

Comments

  1. says

    I still do not see what the problem is with ethanol. Of course it absorbs water and if allowed to sit and collect moisture it may eventually cause the settling of a lot of saturated ethanol. As a student pilot, I learned that draining off some AvGas to check for water contamination was part of the pre-flight. This has served me well over the years.

    The same contamination problem is said to exist with automobiles. After several years of using E-10 in our cars and pickup trucks, one of them recently started quitting and then running roughly. The Ford technicians told me that E-10 was my problem. Absolutely no water-contaminated fuel appeared when they attempted to solve my problem by draining the tank. The problem was electronic. These vehicles have a combined use well in excess of 450,000 miles on E-10. Our temperatures range from -20 to 110 F with 15 to nearly 100% RH.

    I would appreciate actual data and condition specifications regarding the actual test results which indicate a problem caused by E-10 in aviation use with MoGas approved aircraft engines. Toluene and Benzene are major components of gasoline. Both are highly errosive to organic material, if not corrosive to metal, so why is that not an issue?

    I am not trying to play “gotcha”. I just want to see some good science rather than reports of failure verbally attributed to Ethanol.

  2. says

    This is a test specification. It allows anyone to make fuel to the specification and test it in an airplane. What will be really interesting is when those who make this fuel tell us what they think it will cost to produce in a production environment, and they better factor in the actual real market because it isn’t the 300 mgy that Swift has said in their presentations that I have attended. It is realistically less than 200 mgy, possibly much less if we had mogas on our airports, and declining. Any producer must face the fact that 100 octane avgas is a shrinking market and will probably continue to be so unless their price for fuel is so attractive that it actually boosts GA growth.

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