Florida Tech, Blazing Trails, Northrop Grumman and Larsen Motorsports Collaborate On Biofuel Project

research opportunity for Florida Tech students interning at LMS

Blazing Trails, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, Larsen Motorsports, and Florida Tech is in Phase 1 of a Biofuel Project involving the use of biofuels in gas turbine combustion engines. (LMS image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Blazing Trails, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, Larsen Motorsports, and Florida Tech is in Phase 1 of a Biofuel Project involving the use of biofuels in gas turbine combustion engines.

Phase 1 is known as the Biofuel Additive Manufacturing Material Compatibility Research. Support from Northrop Grumman Corporation has allowed this project to progress beyond a hopeful ideal into a full research project involving Florida Tech Students and LMS employees.

As biofuels become more prevalent and realistic to use in the internal gas turbine and aerospace industries, a solution for the gaskets inside the engines and accessories needs to be found.

The goal of this project is to determine a low-cost solution to replacing gaskets in gas turbine engines that will utilize Biofuels.

The approach is to take a low cost off-the-shelf 3D printer and test many of the available material’s compatibility with Biofuel compared to Jet Fuel in a static soak test.

January 10, 2022, commenced the official start of the Phase 1 project. Phase 1 has a duration of four months. The Team Lead of Phase 1 of the Biofuel project is a Florida Tech Chemical Engineering student, Deuce LaDuke.

Deuce began with process creation for printing material samples, testing the samples, and analyzing the results. Throughout the entire project, the Team will document procedures, research, and challenges faced.

There are seven test pieces being analyzed within this project, all of which have been printed in-house at the Blazing Trails headquarters, within LMS.

The test pieces endured a month-long soaking process, in various combinations of biofuel from 0% biofuel incrementally to 100% biofuel. Documentation and measurements of test pieces occur weekly throughout the soaking process. (LMS image)

The test pieces endured a month-long soaking process, in various combinations of biofuel from 0% biofuel incrementally to 100% biofuel. Documentation and measurements of test pieces occur weekly throughout the soaking process.

As of April 22, 2022, the project has reached the conclusion of its testing stage and is now in the final stages of analysis and reporting.

Blazing Trails, in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation, has successfully provided a research opportunity for Florida Tech students interning at LMS.

This research project directly applies to sustainability efforts being made by LMS and others in the gas turbine industry.

Blazing Trails strives to continue its work with sustainable biofuels throughout the remaining Phases of this biofuel project. The future of internal combustion engines is changing, and Blazing Trails is thoroughly preparing for those changes.

Blazing Trails is doing so by partnering with companies like Northrop Grumman, Siemens, and Florida Tech to help train the new generation on the innovative technologies that will power the future.

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