The United States Air Force has purchased Fischer-Tropsch synthetic jet fuel produced by Rentech at its fully-integrated synthetic fuels and chemicals facility in Commerce City, CO. The Air Force will use the purchased RenJet synthetic fuel for performance and emissions testing in a turbine engine.
The Air Force is testing RenJet fuel as part of its alternative energy program under which it plans to obtain 50% of its fuel from domestic synthetic sources by 2016. Previously, the Air Force conducted laboratory testing of the synthetic jet fuel, which confirmed that the quality and characteristics of RenJet fuel meet the Air Force’s specifications for synthetic fuels.
Rentech’s Fischer-Tropsch process technology can produce synthetic fuels from a wide variety of biomass and fossil resources. RenJet and RenDiesel fuels are biodegradable, cleaner-burning and have a longer shelf life than traditional petroleum-derived fuels. In addition, the lower density of RenJet fuel could enable aircraft to have a lower take-off weight, which conserves fuel and therefore lowers operating costs.
Alternatively, the lower density of RenJet fuel could allow aircraft to carry heavier payloads with the same weight of fuel when compared to traditional jet fuel. Rentech’s synthetic fuels can also be used without modifying existing jet or diesel engines or distribution systems.
The Air Force plans to complete testing and certification of aircraft fleet/systems on a 50/50 blend of alternative and conventional fuel by 2011.