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Alternative Aviation Fuels

by John M. White |

Biomass fuel refers to anything that can decompose or be burned and is sometimes referred to as biomass energy or biofuel. Organic resources are used to create these bioenergy fuels and are used to power many products like electricity, gaseous and solid fuels, heat and other materials. In the United States, biomass fuels rank second only to hydropower, in renewable energy sources. With the rising costs of fossil fuels alternatives are being sought and bioenergy is becoming one of the most popular ways to create these new fuels. The use of crops and animal waste products are used in the production of bioenergy, and airlines, confronted with escalating costs of fossil fuels, are also seeking alternatives to jet fuel and 100LL AvGas. To this end companies like Swift Enterprises are working to replace 100LL AvGas with a biomass fuel, and their new product has received approval by ASTM International to use their product as a test fuel. Mary Rusek, president and co-owner of Swift, said that “With this approval we can begin full scale testing with industry stakeholders.” Once testing is completed it is expected that 100SF can be fully certified as airworthy. Aviation Fuel Demonstration Plant At the same time airlines are working with two firms, AltAir Fuels and Rentech, to develop alternate fuels for the airline industry. AltAir Fuels planes to use camelina oils or feedstock which is refined, while Rentech has a project to produce fuel from coal or petroleum coke. Recently the federal government has allocated over $ 600 million to help fund the development of these fuels. A spokesman for the FAA stated that renewable jet fuels are critical to building the nextgen aviation system in the United States. Look for more news about green products for aviation in the near future. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7

I must place on record my regret that the human race ever learned to fly.

— Sir Winston Churchill

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