Faculty Funded Work

Reducing Aircraft Engine Emissions: An Analysis of 100LL Avgas and SF100

Randal J. DeMik, Ph.D


The researchers will examine how the use of 100LL aviation gasoline or avgas and an alternate fuel (SF100) will affect aircraft engine emissions. Unlike motor gasoline, avgas, achieves higher octane ratings by the addition of tetra-ethyl lead (TEL), a toxic substance that was phased out for automobile use in the United States. The most commonly used aviation fuel (100LL) contains a small amount of TEL, a lead compound that reduces gasoline's tendency to spontaneously explode or “knock” under high loads, high temperatures, and high pressures. Swift Enterprises is in research and development of an alternative fuel to 100LL avgas currently referred to as SF100. SF100 does not contain TEL. Independent laboratory testing is needed to determine if aircraft engine emissions are reduced by SF100. Standard methods for emission testing used for automobiles will be applied to aircraft engines. Results of this study may support further research and development in efforts to remove TEL use from general aviation through the application of alternative fuels.