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Feasibility of Using Alternate Fuels in the U.S. Antarctic Program: Initial Assessment

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Technical Report

Corporate Author:

ERDC-CRREL Hanover United States

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Currently, the U.S. Antarctic Program USAP has standardized using AN8 fuel for all air operations and the majority of its ground based operations. The freeze-point FP specification for AN8 is 58C. The U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory CRREL conducted an analysis of the air temperature history at McMurdo, South Pole, and the WAIS West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide camp to determine if USAP could feasibly use alternate, less expensive aircraft fuels. Also, to provide context, this report details the USAP fuel purchasing methodology and price calculation.JP-8 and Jet A-1 has an FP specification of 47C, which is well below the minimum average daily air temperature at McMurdo 40C and is also below the storage temperature of the fuel at South Pole 45C. The estimated fuel temperature at the WAIS Divide camp is above the FP of JP-8 during the operational season. Based on these findings, it may be possible to use JP-8 to replace ground-based applications where AN8 is currently used. Evidence suggests that JP-8 can replace the AN8 used for all flight operations, also.

Subject Categories:

  • Fuels

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