Catalytically Assisted Combustion of JP-8 in a 1 kW Low-Compression Genset 2006-32-0024
In order to satisfy the single-fuel initiative, the US Armed Forces have need of man-portable electrical generation that will operate on JP-8 fuel. Previous conversions use diesel engines, which tend to be large and heavy - partially due to the high compression ratios necessary. This research shows the conversion process and performance of a low compression ratio gasoline genset for JP-8 operation. Central to this conversion was a catalytic plasma torch that replaces the conventional spark plug, and slight modifications to the fuel system. Comparisons between the stock gasoline genset and modified JP-8 genset are given for: power output, emissions, fuel flow, and efficiency. The tests were conducted in a cold chamber under 25 °C, 4 °C, and -10 °C conditions. The JP-8 conversion added minimal weight to the genset that can be started by hand with a pull cord. Power output of the JP-8 genset was comparable to the stock gasoline genset in 25 °C conditions, slightly degraded at 4 °C, and tended to operate erratically at -10 °C. Despite current limitations, the union of a catalytic plasma torch with JP-8 fuels holds promise of achieving a single fuel military.