Tomsk Scientists create a Fundamentally New type of Fuel Operating at -95°C
Scientists at Tomsk Polytechnic University propose to use the gel-like fuel in extremely cold conditions. It is to be produced from the waste of power plants and oil industry combustibles, as reported on sib-science.info.
The fuel retains its properties at temperatures approaching -95°C and compared to conventional liquid fuels, it is safer to transport and store. “Traditional fuels — gasoline and diesel — can withstand temperatures up to -50°C.
Any colder and the fuel can freeze in tanks and pipes. Therefore, scientists are constantly on the lookout for new or modified fuels that can be used in extreme environments, for example in the Arctic. And since the Arctic is a completely unique natural environment, the fuel used here is subject to special requirements in terms of environmental impact and safety” says Pavel Strizhak, a professor at the TPU Physics School of High Energy Processes. Experiments were conducted on 20 different compounds and their combustion mechanisms are being studied.
“At present, we start with used turbine, transformer and automotive oils, as a combustible base for the manufacture of the gel-like fuel. Thickening is achieved through the cycle of freezing and thawing…” says Dmitry Glushkov, associate professor at the TPU.
Fuel in this form has a number of significant advantages: it is safe to store and transport. Depending on the composition, it is possible to increase the energy density of the fuel, for example, by adding finely dispersed metal particles.
The main thing now for the engineers of this future fuel is to fine-tune the amount of energy needed to ignite the gel and contain its intensity so that the subsequent exothermic reaction is stable under a variety of conditions. According to Professor Pavel Stryzhak, gel fuel is a promising new class. In the future, it will be necessary to develop technology that can use this new fuel, but scientists believe that this is only a matter of time.