Technical, economic, and environmental assessment of liquid jet fuel production on aircraft carriers
Author(s)Comidy, Liam Jacob Frank,First Lieutenant.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Steven R.H. Barrett.
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This work is a first order assessment of the technical feasibility and characteristics of technologies to produce fuel onboard aircraft carriers, which is of interested to the United States Navy. They are interested because the logistical burden and supply chain required for delivering fuel at sea is dangerous, expensive, and subject to changes in markets price for liquid fuels. This work is a first order assessment of the technical feasibility and characteristics of technologies to produce fuel onboard aircraft carriers. The plant is evaluated for three technology pathways: Alkaline electrolysis and the reverse water gas shift (AE+RWGS), solid oxide electrolysis and RWGS (SOEC+RWGS), and co-electrolysis of steam and CO₂. They are evaluated within two scenarios: a small infrequently operating plant leveraging excess nuclear power (Scenario A) and a large frequently operating plant with dedicated nuclear capacity.In addition, a parameter sweep of fuel production capacity and capacity factor is conducted to assess impacts on fuel production costs. In Scenario A, the energy requirements ranged from 152-22OMWe and fuel production cost ranged from 1.91-4.49$/L. In Scenario B, the energy requirements ranged in 1380-2066MWe and fuel production costs ranged from 3.25-4.23$/L. In both scenarios, AE+RWGS was the most cost effective and co-electrolysis was the most energy efficient. The fuel produced reduced lifecycle CO₂ equivalent emissions by 85.3-90.2%. The plant volume and weight were 50-67% and 432% of a current aircraft carrier design at large scales. The results of the parameter sweep indicate that generally a larger more frequently operating plant is more cost effective, but dedicated nuclear capacity requirements diminishes this benefit.The overall results indicate that a fuel production plant on an aircraft carrier is technically feasible and has the potential to be cost effective, though research into cost, weight, and volume reduction are still necessary.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-54).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.