Syntroleum has signed a contract to deliver 100,000 gallons of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthetic fuel to the US Department of Defense (DoD) for evaluation as part of a larger program aimed at long-term prospects for the domestic manufacture and supply of synthetic aviation fuels from FT plants.
The government is currently seeking up to 200 million gallons of alternative synthetic aviation fuel in 2008.
The clean-burning fuel will be supplied from Syntroleum’s existing plant near Tulsa, Okla. and will be used for research and development and performance testing of military turbine applications, highlighted by a B-52 flight demo later this year at Edwards Air Force Base. (Earlier post.)
The bomber will fly with two of its eight jet engines using a blend of conventional petroleum-derived JP-8 and Syntroleum Fischer-Tropsch jet fuel produced from natural gas. The experiment is part of the Department of Defense’s Assured Fuel Initiative.
Previous research and testing by the military on Syntroleum’s FT fuels have shown superior performance characteristics compared to aviation fuels produced by refining crude oil. Particulate matter (PM), soot, emissions have shown a reduction of greater than 90% depending upon the turbine engine type. The reduced particulate matter, soot and emissions significantly improve engine efficiency, performance and overall air quality.
This agreement to supply the FT fuel for the evaluation and certification process is the result of Syntroleum’s more than four years of research and development efforts with the DoD focused specifically on producing a high-performance alternative fuel for military applications.
The contract with the US Department of Defense is a significant milestone for Syntroleum. Not only are we the first company to provide FT aviation fuel to the Department of Defense for its certification and weapon system testing program, but, acceptance of our FT fuels further validates the quality and integrity of our product. Equally important, successful completion of this program provides Syntroleum with an opportunity for other long-term supply contracts with the Department of Defense.—Jack Holmes, president and CEO of Syntroleum
The Department of Defense consumes 97% of all US Government fuel—of that, the Air Force accounts for 53% and the Navy 32%. In 2003, the Air Force consumed 3.2 billion gallons of fuel, and the total fuel bill has doubled since 9/11, according to Dr. Ron Sega, Under Secretary of the Air Force.