Even as aircraft engine makers continue their very focused efforts to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, the use of biofuel alternatives to jet-A is an increasingly important facet of the campaign to make air transport more environmentally sustainable. Plans for making biofuels a more mainstream option for operators now account for around half of all the objectives set by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (Acare).
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.
With advocacy groups demanding cleaner air and governments passing more and more stringent engine emissions requirements, aviation has been taking a beating as a prime offender in creating carbon emissions.
Alaska Airlines and sister carrier Horizon Air have purchased sufficient biofuel from SkyNRG, an aviation biofuels broker, to operate a total of 75 passenger flights using biofuel during the month of November. Beginning today, Alaska Airlines will fly a Boeing 737 between Seattle and Washington, D.C., for a total of 11 trips and Horizon Air will fly a Q400 a total of 64 trips from Seattle to Portland, Ore. The aircraft will be burning a 20-percent blend of sustainable biofuel that “meets rigorous international safety and sustainability standards.”
Embraer and GE recently held a series of test flights in an E170. The tests, flown out of Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto facilities, benchmarked the operational characteristics of the airplane and its GE CF34-8E engines when powered by HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) fuel under a broad range of unique flight conditions.
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.
The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) has been awarded a nearly $50 million six-year research grant from the Air Force to develop advanced fuels and combustion technologies. The award follows last year’s $10 million contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory to design and operate the new Assured Aerospace Fuels Research Laboratory at nearby Wright-Patterson AFB.
The prospect of synthetic fuel qualification took an important step closer to reality last month when ASTM International’s aviation fuels subcommittee passed a new specification for alternative jet fuel. The new specification details the properties and criteria required to control the production and quality of synthetic fuels for aviation use.
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