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Syntroleum to Supply 100,000 Gallons of FT Fuel to DoD

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.



allen zheng

Dang it, they got the land in the southwest to grow the biomass (algae oil) for the fuel. I guess there is the "on demand- time"/"just in time" mentality. At least the FT plant does have the capability to turn biomass into fuel in the future (with modifications).


The military could care less about sustainability, being a totally unsustainable entity itself helps, but their focus is on having adequate domestic energy supplies for their operations as it becomes more obvious that the invasion and occupation for oil strategy isn't working out in the short term to assure their ability to dominate the globe. I would expect the military to construct a huge CTL plant to supply most of their fuels before considering a bio fed FT plant as their main energy strategy.



I believe you missed something. US military is trying to DEFEND the world from being dominated by guys like Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Bin Laden, or whoever is your current boss.

Jamie Bennion

I know environmentally-minded persons take a dim view of the United States Armed Forces. It is all part of the left-wind right-wing thing. Mr. Allen Zheng is probably right that the Pentagon cares nothing for sustainable practices. But that isn't thier job. Thier job is to secure the security of the United States from threats posed by other nations, and to secure her interests. That is the purpose of any military. But what Mr. Zheng is missing is that it doesn't matter why, it just matters that they ARE trying to use a cleaner technology. I am a soldier, myself. Just an enlisted man, no General. I wouldn't saccrifice feet-per-second by switching to an environmentally-safe gun powder (for example), but if I could get comparable performance and price with a cleaner technology, I am all for it. And, it just so turns out, so is the Pentagon. Beleive it or not, the US military tries to be good stewards of thier land. You can cry-ass all you want: over population will be the demise of us all, not the military.

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