Biofuels That Avoid Harm to the Food Supply

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Biofuel manufacturers seem to be making great progress in the application of their combustibles to aircraft use, while gaining momentum in the amounts produced.  Whether these will be economically and environmentally viable remains to be seen, but early indicators show hopeful signs. Biofuels have several advantages over the ancient plant life that has been squeezed for millions of years to give us eons-old pollution.  They burn cleaner, can be cheaper to produce, and with distributed growth and refinery centers, could reduce the cost and hazards of distribution. Several issues surround the new fuels, though, including the food-versus-energy debate.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG), for instance, has endorsed two widely disparate politicians for a bi-partisan attempt to mitigate problems associated with …

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 …