Verenium and BP Invited to Begin Negotiations for Next Phase of DOE Loan Guarantee Program for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
Chemrec Grant Application for Full-scale Black Liquor to Fuel Plant Passes Hurdle

ASTM Aviation Fuel Subcommittee Passes Specification Enabling Use of Synthetic Fuel in Aviation

The ASTM International Aviation Fuels Subcommittee having responsibility for jet fuel (D02.J0.01) formally voted upon and passed a new fuel specification, labeled DXXXX until final issuance, that will enable use of synthetic fuels in commercial aviation. The specification describes the fuel properties and criteria necessary to control the manufacture and quality of these fuels for aviation use.

The new specification constructs a framework to enable the use of multiple alternative fuels (including both non-renewable and renewable blends) for aviation, and targets complete interchangeability with conventional fuels produced to specification D1655. This specification is being structured, via annexes, to accommodate different classes of alternative fuels.

The initial issue of the specification will enable use of fuels from the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process up to a 50% blend with conventional Jet A. FT fuels can be generated from a variety of feedstocks, including biomass (biomass to liquid) and natural gas to liquid, in addition to coal to liquid and combinations thereof.

It is expected that the FT approval will be followed by approvals for hydrotreated renewable Jet (HRJ) blends and other alternatives as data from technical evaluations is obtained. This would include fuels such as Bio-Derived Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (Bio-SPK). (Earlier post.) An ASTM-required research report on the HRJ fuels is expected by year-end. This will support incorporation of HRJ fuels into the new DXXXX specification by the end of 2010, pending favorable evaluation of the research report.

ASTM International established the Synthetic Fuels Task Force, chaired by CAAFI (Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative) Steering Committee member and Certification Team leader Mark Rumizen of the FAA, to develop a synthetic fuel specification. The task force is composed of stakeholders from the aviation fuel supply chain including equipment manufacturers, fuel producers, airlines and the US Air Force.

At the June 24 meeting, after review of comments to the draft specification, the Aviation Fuels Subcommittee voted to approve the specification and to proceed with a ballot to the top-level Petroleum Products and lubricants committee of ASTM International within the next two weeks. If negative votes are not cast in the committee-level ballot round, then it is anticipated that the specification will be issued with its official ASTM numerical designation, by the fall.



If we can get large truck mileage up, produce cellulose biofuels, get plug hybrids out there and have synthetic aviation fuels, we just might reduce oil imports the next 10 years.

The comments to this entry are closed.