Euro/Israeli hybrid Powers Neat Italian ULM

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Great minds tend in the same directions.  Newton and Leibniz both came up with the calculus at roughly the same time, both goaded to develop a way to determine the orbit of Halley’s Comet.  So it’s no surprise that two different groups would come up with similar solutions to developing a backup hybrid system for light aircraft.  Within weeks of one another, Spain’s UC3M and Israel’s Ashot Ashkelon both unveiled add-on hybrid systems for Rotax engines. Aviation Week identifies the second team’s players in its report.  “An innovative hybrid propulsion system (HPS) for light aircraft – manned or unmanned – is being unveiled here at the Paris Air Show. The HPS was developed by an international consortium headed by Israel’s …

Commercially Viable (and Nearly Buyable) Australian Algae-Based Biofuel

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Both Aviation Week and Flight Global reported on Algaetec’s announcement at the ILA (Berlin Air Show) that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Lufthansa to provide algae-based jet fuel to the German carrier. Algae.Tec is an Australian maker of clear algae oil that pulls CO2 from industrial processes, combines it with sunlight, and produces large batches of odorless oil. The product achieves the “holy grail” of sustainability, according to Executive Chairman Roger Stroud, because it is made from non-food sources, unlike corn- or agave-based ethanol, for instance. It also uses CO2 that would otherwise be subject to expensive sequestration processes. The technology is proprietary and barely hinted at in the company’s videos, but is housed in 40-foot long …

Big Birds Flying Green Economy Class (Part Three): Environmental Politics or Revenue Source?

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Recent disputes among the many national and regional  players in the emerging biofuel/jet fuel markets may slow acceptance and  development of  hese promising alternatives to fossil fuels. The European Union’s emissions trading system (ETS) seems to be central to contentions by China and the United States.  The scheme would impose caps on carbon emissions from airlines flying into Europe, unleashing charges from China that the proposed rules discriminate against carriers from developing countries. A one cent per liter tax on jet fuel, part of the system, is at least partially responsible for the international dispute. According to Flight Global, “The airlines likely to be involved are the nation’s flag carrier Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, said an official from the China Air Transport …

Saving the Air While Saving Crops

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

AvWeb this morning reports on a “highly cost-effective” way to make jet biofuel from renewable materials.  According to AvWeb, San Francisco-based, “AliphaJet said its catalytic method uses materials derived from plants and animals such as triglycerides and fatty acids.  ‘Our strategy fundamentally improves the economics of making 100-percent drop-in renewable jet biofuel,’ said Jack Oswald, CEO of AliphaJet. ‘Our approach is radically different and unlocks a new industry that can meet the U.S. Navy’s goal of replacing 50 percent of its liquid fuels with renewables by 2020.’ “AliphaJet said its catalytic de-oxygenation process ‘significantly reduces capital and operating costs’ because it does not require the use of hydrogen in processing. That means the processing plant can be less complex, reducing …

Biofuels: Initiatives and Issues

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Reports from Germany, Switzerland, and America provide an insight into the problems that come with attempting to develop biofuel alternatives to jet fuel.  While various cooperative efforts are underway to promote expanded production of these “green” fuels, several parts of the industry are having problems of their own in making and distributing those fuels. Many of Germany’s biggest airlines, research groups and biofuel producers have banded together to promote” greater development and use of alternative fuels in the commercial aviation sector,” according to Flight Global.com. The resulting organization, the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (Aireg), includes Air Berlin, Condor, Lufthansa, the Munich Airport, MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce Germany and EADS, a variety of universities and research institutions and …

Are Wind Turbines Bad for Aviation?

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

It would be a supreme irony if a part of environmentally-positive power production halted the possibility of “green” aviation by making it unsafe to be in the skies.  Luckily, this might not be the major problem some perceive, and solutions are in place or being developed.   For a brief time last April the United States Air Force held up construction of an eastern Oregon wind farm that will be the largest in America.  Concerned with the possible interference that 300 new giant wind turbines might cause for radar station transmissions in an otherwise remote part of the state, the Air Force stepped in.  That was a short-lived interruption, with Oregon’s Senators countering with concerns about the 706 jobs, $130 million in taxes to local …

Rising Oil Prices a “Wake-up Call”

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With revolt and possible revolution threatening the shutdown of the Suez Canal and driving crude oil prices up, a recent article in Flight Global merits reflection. Flight Global’s lead sums up a threat and a hope in one tidy paragraph.  “The International Energy Agency raised an alarming note as our power-hungry lives got back into gear after the holidays.  ‘Oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global economy. The oil import bills are becoming a threat to the economic recovery. This is a wake-up call to the oil-consuming countries and to the oil producers,’ it said.” With fuel prices at the end of 2010 up one-fifth over those at the end of 2009, ticket prices necessarily follow, with …