GE Aviation, which consumes more than 10 million gallons of jet fuel annually at its engine testing centers, will broaden its fuel source beginning in 2016. A 10-year agreement calls for GE to purchase 500,000 gallons of cellulosic synthetic biofuel annually from the D’Arcinoff Group. The company will use the low-emissions jet fuel at its main jet engine testing facility in Peebles, Ohio. Options are in place to order up to 10 million gallons of the synthetic biofuel annually.
Purdue University pilots flew an Embraer Phenom 100 partially powered by a mix of biofuel and jet-A to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on Friday. The biofuel blend–a mixture of a camelina-based biofuel and jet-A provided by the U.S. Air Force–was used to power one of the Phenom’s engines; the other engine ran on jet-A alone. Key flight performance measurements were recorded and will be studied.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) flew the first civil jet powered by 100-percent unblended biofuel last week, marking a “significant step” toward advancing sustainable sources of renewable energy. During the test flight over Ottawa, biofuel made from oilseed crops flowed into the engines of a Falcon 20 captained by NRC pilot Tim Leslie.
UOP, a Honeywell company, has announced that Honeywell Green Jet Fuel was used in a 50/50 blend with petroleum-derived jet fuel to propel all five of Gulfstream’s demonstration aircraft to this year’s NBAA convention on October 27 and 28.
The renewable fuel was made from natural oils extracted from camelina, an inedible plant that grows in conditions where food crops cannot survive.
Airbus and China’s Tsinghua University have agreed to jointly investigate biofuel feedstocks in the country in an initiative designed to identify the best options for sustainable commercialization of alternative fuel supply for aviation. By early next year, Airbus hopes to have narrowed down the list of possible feedstocks, which will include cooking oil and algae, to the most promising alternative fuel solutions. With that decision taken, the partners intend to investigate ways to accelerate production.
With the debate over Europe’s emissions trading scheme heating up faster than you can say “illegal carbon tax,” aviation quietly continues the efficiency and emissions-reduction gains that have been under way for decades. Engine manufacturers are turning their ingenuity to building lighter engines that get more out of every drop of fuel and emit less greenhouse gas.
Canada’s National Research Council has been flight-testing its Dassault Falcon 20 fueled by biofuel while sampling the exhaust using a probe fitted to a Lockheed T-33 chase plane. The flights pushed the mix 10 percent beyond the certified 50/50 blend of fossil fuel and the biofuel, which is produced from a new, domestically grown feedstock crop derived from Brassica carinata, basically a “hardy weed,” The crop was optimized for aviation use by Agrisoma Biosciences and processed into biofuel by Honeywell UOP.
Thirteen aviation groups, including NBAA and GAMA, are firmly supporting continued research by the Department of Defense on the use of biofuels after the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to strip funding for those efforts. By a 13-12 vote last month, Senate committee members are blocking Defense participation in programs to construct biofuel refineries and have prohibited the Pentagon from purchasing renewable biofuels that are more expensive than regular jet fuel.
The FAA is awarding a total of $7.7 million in contracts to eight companies–Honeywell UOP, LanzaTech, Virent Energy Systems, Velocys, Honeywell Aerospace, Metron Aviation, Futurepast: Inc. and Life Cycle Associates–to help advance alternative commercial jet fuels.
Hawker Beechcraft’s turbine-powered aircraft are approved to use biofuels, a renewable resource that can help reduce the use of fossil fuels and minimize carbon emissions. The biofuel must meet American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM) turbine fuel standards to be eligible.
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