Tag Archives: jet fuel

[OPINION] Take-off for Aviation Biofuels: When, How, and Why?

[Read the opposing view, “The High-Flown Fantasy of Aviation Biofuels,” by Almuth Ernsting, co-director of Biofuelwatch.]

– by Jim Lane, Editor & Publisher, Biofuels Digest

One striking image for all of us in 2016 has been the graceful lines of the Solar Impulse as it shuttled around the globe in a remarkable demonstration of the potential of solar energy for powered flight.

But if we reflect upon the wingspan, the minuscule payload, the multi-month journey, the speed and the discomfort involved, we might sympathize with Boeing executive Julie Felgar when she stated at ABLC this year, “We’re all excited about solar. I’m excited about solar, but as a commercial reality we are decades and decades away.”

By the 21st Century, we’ll have many more technological options for limiting and adapting to climate change, but in there here and now, when it comes to aviation, representing 5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, for now we have two strategies and two alone. Fuel efficiency and renewable fuels.

There are limits on fuel efficiency because of the 30-40 year replacement cycle for jets, and the 10-20 year development cycle. Designs only on a drawing board today will be not deployed until the 2020s or 2030s, and jets we have in service today will be still flying, somewhere, in the 2050s.

So it is not a shock to observers that airlines such as Virgin, United Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific have been investing in renewable fuel companies. The US government has made substantial investments in search of sustainable military jet fuels, also. Other airlines are expected to follow suit, and more than 30 of them have joined R&D consortia, conducted flight certification tests and in other ways contributed towards the deployment of these fuels.

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[NEWS] Maine Trees Could Fuel Military Jets

– by Christopher Burns, August 20, 2016, Bangor Daily News

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(Cartoon: George Danby)

For the last decade, there has been a concerted push in the U.S. to replace petroleum-based fuel with plant-based biofuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.

The alternative fuel revolution has so far belonged to corn, but efforts to develop a wood-based biofuel, particularly jet fuel, from Maine’s abundant timberland got a boost last month when the U.S. Department of Defense announced a $3.3 million investment into ongoing research at the University of Maine. This infusion comes as part of federal measures to help Maine’s flagging economy after a spate of mill closures.

This new investment from the federal government can potentially give the university’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute the support it needs to “scale up” the production of biofuel for demonstration purposes to test it for commercial use, according to Jake Ward, the university’s vice president of innovation and economic development.

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[NEWS] Will New Biofuels Help Decarbonize Aviation and Shipping?

Will New Biofuels Help Decarbonize Aviation and Shipping?

– by Kent Harrington, August 17, 2016, Chenected

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(Photo: Chenected)

It’s all hands on deck for the monumental task of decarbonizing the world energy system, and some speculate that may take a decade shy of the next century before it’s complete, if ever. It turns out that reining in emissions from stationary energy facilities, like coal or gas-powered plants, will be easy compared to curbing emissions from moving targets like aviation and shipping, which is starting to look nearly impossible.

A new video makes the problem clear: Every day 100,000 airline flights take off and land at airports across the world (watch the video above). Constantly moving air traffic means that no single person or group can manage the flow surging around the globe with the velocity of a plot from a Jason Bourne movie, floating over time zones, leaping national borders, and skating past regulatory and legal jurisdictions.

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[NEWS] EPA Releases Endangerment Finding for Aircraft, Good News for Biofuels?

– by Rebecca Chillrud, July 29, 2016, Environmental and Energy Study Institute

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Photo: heidmar.com

It’s been a big week for aviation. The solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 officially completed its historic flight around the world on Tuesday without using any fossil fuels, just a day after EPA took the first steps toward regulating aircraft greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

On July 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its endangerment finding for aircraft, indicating that greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft are hazardous to public health. This finding requires the EPA to begin crafting regulations for aircraft emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides (NOx), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride.

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