Cost Competitive, Sustainable, and Boeing Likes It

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Green Air Online reports on “what could be a significant breakthrough,” Boeing’s identification of “green” Diesel as a new source of sustainable aviation biofuel.  Green Diesel is similar chemically to current aviation biofuels, emits “at least” 50 percent less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel over its life cycle, and could be blended directly with existing fossil-based jet fuels.  Similar to petrodiesel, this fuel has some specific definitions that distinguish it from “biodiesel.” According to Advanced Biofuels USA, “Renewable Diesel, often called “green diesel” or “second generation diesel,” refers to petrodiesel-like fuels derived from biological sources that are chemically not esters and thus distinct from biodiesel.  Renewable diesel is chemically the same as petrodiesel, but made of recently living biomass. “…Renewable …

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

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

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 …

Measuring Up To Standards

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, develops “international consensus standards” for many industries, using input from its members in many fields and disciplines.  Their D-7566-11 “Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons” governs what can be put into jet and turbo-prop aircraft.  Updated in July 2011, it now allows the use of biologically-derived fuel “without the need for special permissions,” according to SAE International, itself a standards organization, and as reported by Patrick Ponticel. United Airlines was quick to take advantage of the revised standard, using “Solazyme-supplied algae oil that was refined into jet fuel by Honeywell’s UOP division near Houston. The blend used for the November 7, Boeing 737-800 flight was 40-percent …

Biofuels, But at What Cost?

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Jasmine Green, writing in Care2 Causes.com (“The future of Biodiesel Fuels“) , explains that all is not as it seems in the quest for clean fuel alternatives. Many of the biofuel plants noted in this blog (see “EQ2 Has a High Fuel IQ”, February 11, 2010) are indeed being grown and are producing oil for fuel, but, as reported in Care2 Causes, at a cost to the overall environment. Citing Treehugger.com, she notes that Brazil is seeing ranchers being displaced to make way for the planting of oil-bearing plants, and that ranchers move further into the rain forest and deforest the area to raise cattle. This indirect deforestation contributes, according to Ms. Green, to 41 to 59 percent of all …

EQ² Has a High Fuel IQ

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

EQ² offers analysis services for clients around the world, their web site introduction citing their goals. “EQ² is a leader in sustainability risk management and environmental inventory systems using accurate environmental measurement and management processes to quantify, benchmark and report an organisation’s risks in regulatory compliance, operational impacts and financial costs.” Among their clients are airlines seeking advice on long-term prospects for alternatives to rapidly-diminishing fossil-derived jet fuels.  Their white paper,  Sustainable Flying: Biofuels as an Economic and Environmental Salve for the Airline Industry, besides having a provocative title, gives some hope for future development of these alternatives. One part of the paper explores the development money put into biofuels and finds that it tracks the rising and falling costs of …