Saving you time and money on delivering new and improved SAFs with world-class expertise and technology.

Our research & capabilities

Any new aviation fuel must undergo significant assessment for comprehensive chemical composition analysis, basic physico-chemical properties (in line with ASTM 4054) as well as fit-for-purpose testing before it can be safely introduced to the market. SAF-IC offers a full spectrum of capabilities to carry out such testing, thanks to its:

  • Small, medium and large-scale thermal degradation testing facilities
  • Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) testing with hydrogen capabilities
  • Aviation fuel characterisation lab covering tier 1 and 2.

Every large scale test campaign we carry out is bespoke to customer requirements, leading to significant costs savings and development time associated with SAFs, fuel system design, and fuel system hardware as compared to full scale engine testing.

Supporting the alternative aviation fuels industry

As a higher-TRL facility, we provide a supportive space in which to prove and deploy, at scale, new integrated approaches to clean transport fuels.

We enable you to join with our experts to foster wider and deeper supply chain collaboration across the full SAF process, from performance, emissions and characterisation to the assessment and towards certification of the alternative aviation fuels.

SAF-IC gives much-needed access to multidisciplinary technical advice and consultancy in high- priority research and innovation topics, and to a broad range of academic experts and research facilities.

Through the SAF-IC, you’ll have access to everything you need to make sustainable aviation fuels, and a greener aviation sector, a reality.

Read on below for more information about our capabilities, and click here to read about our equipment.




Assessing and characterising fuels

The design of the centre allows us to assess samples of fuel for chemical, physical and thermal properties, as well as thermal oxidative stability. All of this is driven by adherence to ASTM standards for fuel evaluations for use in aircraft, which means we can ensure new sustainable fuel technologies have been rigorously evaluated prior to large scale production.

Once fuels are being produced at full scale, the we can test fuel samples to ensure that high quality fuel production is maintained and meets the required ASTM standards at all times.

Fuel thermal stability testing

SAF-IC has extensive capabilities and expertise in fuel thermal stability assessment, from bench scale to large scale, and all in a single research facility.

Fuel thermal degradation occurs when fuels are subjected to elevated temperatures, allowing chemical reactions to take place which can negatively affect components inside an engine, making it less efficient and more likely to break down.

SAF-IC hosts a range of capabilities to assess fuel thermal stability, from small scale tests that enable the fundamental investigation into the relationship between fuel chemistry and thermal stability/degradation, to flowing fuel tests which enable the assessment of fuels in low and medium Reynolds number ranges, whereby flowing fuel effects can be introduced as a step towards the conditions experienced with in-service engines.

Finally, SAF-IC also has capability with a large scale apparatus (TRL 5) to reproduce engine conditions to provide complete investigation of the interactions between thermally degrading fuels and fuel system design and components. Our unique, large-scale TRL 5 facility is able to replicate any modern gas turbine fuel systems and test them as a whole or in a modular fashion by thermally stressing sustainable aviation fuels at constant operating conditions or according to predefined flight cycles.

This facility can run unattended 24/7 and within hundreds of hours it can reliably simulate thousands of operating hours from in-service gas turbines. We can thoroughly investigate SAF thermal degradation and the behaviour of fuel system design and components such as control and metering valves, filters, and elastomers. Doing so can generate significant insight on fuel component performance, fuel system design and fuel chemistry at engine conditions.

ASTM analytical capabilities

SAF-IC is able to support fuel analysis to meet the standards of ASTM D1655/D4054/D7566. We offer comprehensive compositional quantitative analysis of fuel (major and minor constituents) and can further R&D in pre-combustion, combustion and post-combustion topics.

Other basic properties we support the analysis of include:

  • Density (ASTM D4052)
  • Viscosity (ASTM D455/D7042)
  • Flash point (ASTM D56/D3828/D93)
  • Freeze point (ASTM D2386/D5972)
  • Vapor pressure (ASTM D6378)
  • Heat content (ASTM E1269)
  • Distillation (ASTM D2887)
  • Total acid number (ASTM D3242)
  • Water content (ASTM D6304)
  • Sulfur content (ASTM D5453/D2622)
  • Thermal and electrical conductivity (ASTM D2717/D2624)
  • Small scale thermal stability testing facilities (ASTM D3241/D6811/D4054)

You can work with us

If you’d like to find out more about our equipment and services, or if you’d like to partner with us in any way, please get in touch.