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Implication of Synthetic Fuels on Land Systems and on NATO Single Fuel Policy

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Applied Vehicle Technology

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Alternative Fuels, Combustion, Conventional Fuels, F24, F34, F35, F44, F54, F63, Fuel Systems, Fuels, Gas Turbines, Internal Combustion Engines, Logistics, Synthetic Fuels


Factors such as concerns over climate change, the finite nature of oil reserves, and concerns over political security in the oil producing regions have triggered a broad effort in the search for new sources and conversion processes to produce alternative fuels. The increasing availability of such alternative fuels, and their mixing with conventional petroleum distillate fuels, have led to a need for NATO member nations to coordinate more closely to evaluate the implications of the synthetic fuels and blends for military vehicles and systems (air, land or naval), as well as operational procedures. In coordination with the NATO Petroleum Committee (PC), this Research Task Group (RTG) will build upon previous “fuel”-related activities of the NATO STO, such as AVT-035 (1999-2002), AVT-ET-076 (2007), AVT-ET-073 (2008), AVT-159 (2008-2011), AVT-ET-128 (2012), AVT-225 (2014-2016), and ET-171 (2016-2017) to evaluate the opportunities and threats posed by emerging synthetic fuels and blends on NATO platforms.


The proposed RTG is recommended by AVT-ET-171 “Technological and Operational Challenges of Using Application of Synthetic Fuels” to address challenges specifically raised through the NATO Petroleum Committee Vision on Future Fuels (revised in 2017). With the conclusion in December 2016 of the predecessor RTG, AVT-225, whose scope covered aviation fuels in air systems, a new task group is required to address the challenges in the land arena and the impact on the NATO Single Fuel Policy.


The main topics to be covered include: • Impact of synthetic drop-in fuels on the operability and performance of land vehicles and systems. • Impact of synthetic drop-in fuels on fuel specifications and properties. • Implication of using approved drop-in aviation synthetic fuels on land systems under the NATO Single Fuel Policy (SFP). • Impact of synthetic drop-in fuels on military or combined civil-military distribution and storage systems (e.g. multiproduct pipelines). • Alignment of military users and requirements with civil approval processes for and supply/usage of new fuels. The final deliverable will be technical report focussing on recommendations to the defence end-user.

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