Future of AVGAS
Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM (PDT)
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What: Learn about the future of AVGAS
Where: Museum of Flying, Santa Monica
When: Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM
Special Guest: Lars Hjelmberg, Founder and CEO of Hjelmco Oil
Supporters: Museum of Flying, City of Santa Monica, and the FAA Safety Team (FAAst Team)
The fuel currently used in piston-powered aircraft, 100LL (low lead) AvGas, is the last leaded fuel in production. For years, environmental protection agencies worldwide have been working with refiners and other regulatory agencies to develop an un-leaded replacement for 100LL.
100LL AvGas is a federally regulated fuel product that must meet very specific ASTM standards to comply with airframe and engine manufacturer specifications. The fuel is special, requiring special handling which most refiners and distributors refuse to deal with and as a result, there are very few AvGas manufactures. 100LL AvGas is also used across a very wide spectrum of aircraft/engine types – from low-powered to high-performance aircraft that operate at high altitudes under very demanding conditions. Therefore, the development of a replacement unleaded fuel has been problematic from a technical perspective.
Tetraethyl-lead (TEL) used in 100LL AvGas acts as an octane booster to prevent engine detonation and pre-ignition. It also provides improved heat transfer for valve seats and piston rings. Due to the relatively small demand for AvGas, the TEL used in the AvGas has a very limited production.
There has been a lot of news recently about unleaded alternatives to 100LL, including a UL 91, which is being pushed by Lycoming Engines and TOTAL in Europe (see this news story - http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/articles/2012/120419lycoming-eu-bless-ul-91.html), 94UL, which is being pushed by Continental, a new 100UL being developed by a startup called Swift Fuel, and G100UL being developed by GAMI.
Additionally, recent national publications like Bloomberg have highlighted the potential health risks of leaded aviation gasoline. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&refer=&sid=aCfotEYJYr3Y
Lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft and leaded aviation gasoline are Federally-regulated. EPA received a petition to determine whether lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft endanger human health and the environment. The EPA is currently conducting a national-scale analysis of the local impact of lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft. It's time to understand what the alternatives are to 100LL and where we are in the certification process.
In 1979, a Swedish company called Hjelmco Oil, founded by Lars Hjelmberg, developed an unleaded 80/87 grade AVGAS. In 1991, the company developed a 91/96 grade unleaded AVGAS, which is very close to 100 octane. Continental, Lycoming, Rotax, and radial engine manufacturer Kalisz have all cleared the Hjelmco AVGAS 91/96 UL for use in many of their engines. The fuel has been widely used throughout Sweden for decades and millions of flight hours, including by the Swedish Air Force, and is the preferred fuel for general aviation there.
We are honored to have Lars Hjelmberg join us on June 30th at 9:00 AM at the Museum of Flying for a town hall seminar about the development of unleaded aviation fuel and to conduct a comprehensive question and answer session. This is an event you won't want to miss if you are interested in the future of aviation gasoline.
Refreshments will be provided.