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Energy Density of Aviation Fuel

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"Aircraft Fuels." Energy, Technology and the Environment. Ed. Attilio Bisio. Vol. 1. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1995. 257-259.
  ASTM D1655a Mil-T-5624-Na Mil-T-83133Ca
  Jet A Jet B JP-4 JP-5 JP-8
Characteristic kerosene wide-cut wide-cut kerosene kerosene
heat content, MJ/kg, mind 42.8 42.8 42.8 42.6 42.8
42.8-42.6 MJ/kg
"Aircraft Fuel." Ed. Sybil P. Parker. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 8th ed. N.p.: R.R. Donnelly and Sons Company, The Lakeside P, 1997. "Heat of Combustion. The heat of combustion of all grades of aviation gasoline is about 18,700 Btu/lb (43.5 Megajoules/kg)" 43.5 MJ/kg
Aviation Turbine Fuel Performance [pdf]. Chevron Products Company, 2000.
Typical Energy Content
Fuel Gravimetric Volumetric
MJ/kg Btu/lb MJ/L Btu/gal
Aviation gasoline 43.71 18,800 31.00 112,500
Jet Fuel:        
Wide-cut 43.54 18,720 33.18 19,000
Kerosene 43.28 18,610 35.06 125,800
43.28-43.71 MJ/kg
Energy data File: L.3 Fuel Properties [pdf], New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development, January 2003.
  MJ/kg MJ/litre
Aviation Kerosene 46.36 36.86
Aviation Gasoline 47.30 33.87
47.3 MJ/kg
List of common conversion factors. IOR Energy, 1999.
MJ/litre Litre/tonne GJ/tonne
Gasoline Aviation 33.0 1412 49.6
49.6 MJ/kg

The deafening sound blasts your ears as you watch the giant Boeing 747 take off from John F. Kennedy Airport. The plane makes a small human look even smaller, mocking the fact that people can't fly but it can. After all, there are millions of flights, both commercial and military, around the world each and every day. People have yet to lift their wings and fly transatlantic, but planes have been doing it for nearly a century.

All planes in the sky today are powered by aviation fuel, which is a mixture of components derived from crude petroleum and synthetic hydrocarbon blending agents.

Aviation fuel is divided into two basic categories: Aviation gasoline and Jet Fuel. Jet Fuel has two forms also: wide-cut and kerosene. Although these fuels differ in things such as volatility and freezing points, their energy density, or heat content, is just about the same.

One of the basic properties required from aviation fuel is of course, energy density. Energy density is defined as the amount of energy per mass or it is the heat released when a known amount of fuel is burned under very specific conditions. In International Metric Units (SI), energy density is measured in MJ/kg (or MJ/L) The energy density of aviation fuel is generally between 43 and 48 MJ/kg.

Evelyn Gofman -- 2003

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