A revised specification issued by standards organization ASTM International establishes requirements for the use of biofuel blends in conventional jet fuel, facilitating wider use of cleaner-burning “renewable” fuels made from plants.
Here we are, 41,000 feet in the air, sailing along at a little more than 476 knots and a little more than halfway from Morristown, N.J., to the Paris Air Show. We’ve got a biofuel blend of Honeywell’s finest and jet-A feeding engine one and straight jet-A in the other. The G450’s Rolls-Royce engines appear to be perfectly happy on a diet of either, and the flight is as smooth as a glass-top table.
What does it take to make a million barrels of “green” oil a day? According to San Diego, California-based Sapphire Energy (Hall 3 E118), the answer lies in combination of new environmentally friendly technologies. Sapphire aims to be producing about 67 barrels (2,800 gallons) of its fuel per day by 2014. By 2018, it hopes to be producing between 5,000 and 10,000 barrels of green crude per day.
Eurocopter and parent company EADS have teamed with Argentina-based BioCombustibles del Chubut (BC) to study the feasibility of building an aviation biofuel factory in Brazil. The three companies signed an agreement in June. The biofuel, made from algae, could be used in Eurocopter’s diesel engines for light helicopters, which are now in the research stage (see AIN, February, page 44).
Plans by British Airways and U.S. energy solutions company Solena Group to establish Europe’s first sustainable jet-fuel plant–dubbed “GreenSky”–are being outlined here at the Farnborough airshow by the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), which claims to lead the development, testing, environmental acceptance, qualification and deployment of alternative aviation fuels.
In a move hailed as a significant advance for the bio- and synthetic fuels market, the Air Transport Association (ATA) and the U.S. Department of Defense signed a strategic alliance agreement on Friday, signaling a partnership in the development and deployment of alternative aviation fuels. The two groups, which represent the vast bulk of jet fuel consumers, have a combined thirst of more than 1.5 million barrels a day.
As government and industry plan for more environmentally friendly energy sources, companies continue to invest in and research alternative fuels for aviation. The U.S. Air Force, one of the government’s largest consumers of fuel, for example, has set a goal that 50 percent of its fuel purchases be composed of domestic synthetic fuel blends by 2016, while IATA has presented a target of 10-percent alternative fuel use for its members by 2017.
The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) was awarded a nearly $50 million six-year research grant from the Air Force to develop advanced fuels and combustion technologies. A key area in the UDRI program will be the development, validation and field testing of synthetic fuels, including biofuels from varied feed stocks.
Purdue University has received a $1.35 million grant from the U.S. Air Force to establish a new facility to test aircraft engines and develop alternative fuels. The National Test Facility for Fuels and Propulsion–which is expected to open late this year or early next–will be located at Purdue Airport in the school’s Niswonger Aviation Technology Building.
Honeywell (Booth No. 2600) has completed initial testing of renewable jet fuel on its TPE331 and TFE731 engines and an auxiliary power unit. Performance and fuel economy were comparable to typical aviation fuels, but emissions were reduced by 15 to 50 percent depending on the engine and its power setting. The biofuel blend tested was developed by UOP, a Honeywell subsidiary based in Des Plaines, Ill.