Renewable Biomethane – an Economic Alternative?

Dean Sigler Biofuels, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Compressed natural gas (CNG) has several things going for it.  It is cheaper than gasoline or diesel fuel, has lower emissions, and for a conventional piston-engined airplane, is the equivalent of over 130 octane, far more powerful than 100-octane low lead (100LL) and cleaner burning. CNG Fuels in England CNG filling stations are growing across the country as fleet owners take advantage of the economics of converting their vehicles, but are still few and far between in the west, with the exception of California.  There are under 900 stations throughout America.  Alluring as CNG might be for drivers, pilots used to paying $5.50 per gallon for avgas should be charmed by CNG’s price of $1.00 per gallon equivalent. That is …

Aviat Flies Dual-Fuel Airplane to Oshkosh

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor spent much of his time at AirVenture 2013 in or around the Innovation Pavilion, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s nod to experimentation on a grand scale. Flanking the doors into the pavilion were two approaches to making flight more efficient, the LAM Ailerons on a Cessna Corvallis and a dual-fuel system on an Aviat A1-C Husky CNG; “CNG” standing for “compressed natural gas.” Stu Horn, President of Aviat Aircraft, is proud of the all-American nature of the airplane, most components other than avionics having their origin in this country.  Even the fuel for this proof-of-concept Husky is a domestic product, and a possible reflection of its back-country home.  Afton, Wyoming, where Aviat makes Huskies, has resurrected the Pitts Special, …

Audi Opens e-Gas Plant in Germany

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Audi takes the environment seriously, and in a statement of corporate responsibility, shows that doing good for clean air can help the company do well in the competitive car market. “The Company is establishing a portfolio of sustainable sources of energy as part of its Audi e-gas project. Renewably generated electricity from wind or solar power, water and carbon dioxide are used to produce hydrogen and synthetic methane, the Audi e-gas. The plant that Audi has built in Werlte, Germany is now in the commissioning phase. It produces the fuel for the first CNG model from Audi, the new A3 Sportback g-tron, which will be launched before the end of the year.” Opening the Werlte e-gas plant will help Audi …

Audi, Joule and SolarFuel Announce e-Fuel Production

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Biofuels have issues – and like a sulky mate, hit us repeatedly with contradictory demands or unanswerable questions.  If we plant fuel crops everywhere, their growth leaches the soil and their use as an oil/fuel substitute deprives the starving billions of food.  This intractable reality seems to leave us nowhere to go. Audi, and its partner Joule (in America) are promoting a non-fossil compressed natural gas made by a process that mimics photosynthesis, and that pulls CO2 from the atmosphere as part of its makeup.  Audi has a clever plan, as presented at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2013 Government/Industry Meeting.  In Europe, SolarFuel will provide motive power for the first Audi g-tron compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Joule explains its …