Investigation of "Apple Jelly" Contaminant in Military Jet Fuel



Between 1980 and 1985, a representative of Imperial Oil made a presentation to Subcommittee J (aviation fuels) of ASTM Committee D2 concerning a contaminant found in the Alberta Products Pipeline (APPL). The contaminant had a high viscosity and was eventually called "APPL" jelly. It is not clear whether the name eventually evolved into apple jelly or someone coined the name separately because of the appearance of the contaminant. However, since that time, the name has been applied to a range of contaminants found in aviation fuel delivery systems (primarily U.S. Air Force). The objective of this project was to characterize this aviation fuel contaminant known with respect to the compositional and process conditions required for its formation, and to determine possible methods, both compositional and process, whereby its formation can be reduced or prevented. This work has demonstrated that apple jelly is a complex mixture. It begins with water and DiEGME (diethylene glycol monomethyl ether). This mixture reacts with its environment, extracting and dissolving compounds from the materials with which it comes in contact. In this work we started with apple jelly samples collected throughout the DoD/Air Force fuel-distribution system. The majority of our samples came from fuel systems delivering JP-8 to aircraft. All the fuels contained corrosion inhibitor, FSII (fuel system icing inhibitor), and SDA (static dissipator additive) in varying amounts. Other than FSII, this work focused on only one JP-8 additive, SDA. The work presented in this report explains the majority of the properties of the various apple jelly samples we received. We were able to demonstrate how thin and thick apple jelly, of the types we analyzed, could form.

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