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January 2008 edition

Research focuses on potential of 'drop in' replacements

Major players in the aircraft and petroleum industries are stepping up research focused on developing synthetic jet fuels for use in aviation engines. The research is taking place after the signing of an agreement between Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Fuel Company (WOQOD), Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Shell International Petroleum Company and the Qatar Science and Technology Park. Akbar Al Baker, ceo of Qatar Airways, says: "The study will address the feasibility and potential benefits of using gas to liquid (GTL) synthetic jet fuels."

GTL is a technology that takes natural gas and converts it to liquid kerosene. The properties of GTL kerosene are largely similar to conventional jet fuel making it a 'drop in' replacement for today's kerosene, capable of being used in current aero engines....

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