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.
Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) achieved a milestone in the quest for adoption of biofuels when it made the first flight by a civil jet powered by 100-percent unblended biofuel. At the end of October, the NRC’s Dassault Falcon 20 made the historic flight over Ottawa, burning a new biofuel known as ReadiJet, derived from Brassica carinata, an inedible oilseed crop provided by feedstock producer Agrisoma Biosciences.
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.
L2 Aerospace and Cella Energy have teamed up to develop hydrogen storage technology for small, fuel-cell-powered unmanned aircraft systems and potentially other, larger manned and unmanned vehicles. The companies are displaying a mockup of a concept design here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Hall 3 Stand B25).
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.
Amyris’s jet biofuel, which is sourced from Brazilian sugar cane, has passed all required testing and will be used during a demonstration flight this month on an Azul Airlines GE CF34-10E-powered Embraer E195. The flight will take place in Brazil on June 19 during the Rio+20 United Nations conference on sustainable development.
With increasing visibility outside North America, operating more than 3,500 locations worldwide, Avfuel (Stand 456) claims that growing availability of its contract fuel service ensures that corporate flight departments are able to buy fuel at competitive prices no matter where they fly. In addition to boasting a growing network of its outlets, the U.S.-based group provides automated billing to streamline transactions.
Honeywell Aerospace vice president of air traffic management and biofuels Brian Davis outlines the company’s current efforts to develop green aerospace technologies, from the electric green taxiing system to biofuel research.
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.
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