Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Ralph D. Kimberlin

Second Advisor

Isaac Silver

Third Advisor

David Fleming


In the aviation industry, biodiesel is a clean-burning alternative to petroleum-based jet fuel and has been shown to reduce particle emissions from aircraft engines. This thesis studies the impact of biodiesel on aircraft airframe fuel system components & materials with corrosion-resistant surface treatments. The goal is to identify areas for optimization to increase the use of higher blends in jet aircraft engines to further reduce emissions. The work performed involved testing the corrosion resistance of several aluminum samples, steel samples, and non-metallic materials in numerous biodiesel blends ranging from B05 to B100. The testing method used was the Assessment of Compatibility method, where the different species were emerged in the biodiesel blends over a longer time period. Key results showed that aluminum-based materials with high corrosion-resistant treatments showed great resistance against biodiesel exposure, with low corrosion rates and percent mass loss. The steel sample with cadmium surface treatment produced unexpected results, suggesting a need for further analysis using a different testing method. Non-metal materials, such as nylon and fuel tank sealants, displayed decreasing trends of mass loss with increasing biodiesel blends. However, further analysis of fuel-tank sealant swelling capabilities is recommended. These results help provide new and valuable information on the compatibility of different materials, specifically materials with corrosion-resistant surface treatments, which can help the development of optimized aircraft designs to increase the use of sustainable fuels for a more sustainable aviation industry.