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The primary focus of the fuel tank intering work was the characterization and application of Hollow Fiber Membrane (HFM) gas separation technology to generate nitrogen-enriched air (NEA) for commerical transport airplane fuel tank inerting. HFM technology could be used to develop an on-board fuel tank inerting system that is much lighter, with greatly improved dispatch reliability, when compared to current military aircraft systems. So called ground-based fuel tank inerting (GBI) was examined to determine if some level of fuel scrubbing and ullage washing with NEA while the airplane is on the ground could provide sufficient protection throughout the commerical transport airplane flight cycle to significantly reduce the flammable ullage time exposure. On-board fuel tank inerting would involve ullage washing during some or all of an aircraft flight cycle with a system that generates NEA on the aircraft with engine bleed air or some other means. This required the development of an on-board inert gas generating system (OBIGGS) with the capability of providing a required amount of NEA throughout the ground/flight profile. OBIGGS also has the potential to improve commercial transport airplane fire safety as NEA generated on-board the aircraft could be used in an emergency for fire suppression in other parts of the aircraft.

Additional Information

For information contact:

Steve Summer
Phone: (609) 485-4138
Fax: (609) 485-5785