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New ASTM Specification Approves Use of Up to 50% Synthetic Hydrocarbons in Aviation Fuel Blends

ASTM International has issued a new International standard, ASTM D7566, “Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons” that approves the use of blends of up to 50% synthetic hydrocarbons in aviation fuel. The new standard was developed by Subcommittee D02.J0.06 on Emerging Turbine Fuels, part of ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants.

This initial version of ASTM D7566 provides criteria for the production, distribution and use of aviation turbine engine fuel produced from coal, natural gas or biomass using the Fischer-Tropsch process. However, the standard is structured to accommodate other future types of synthetic fuels produced from non-conventional feedstocks and processes as they are developed. These new fuel types can be added to ASTM D7566 in annexes after they are qualified.

The issuance of ASTM D7566 is the culmination of a focused, collaborative effort by the commercial aviation industry to move toward more environmentally friendly fuels, and to diversify the suppliers of aviation fuel.

—Mark Rumizen, aviation fuels specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, and chair of the task group that developed ASTM D7566

Rumizen says that concerns with the future cost and supply of conventionally derived aviation fuel and the imposition of carbon emissions limitations contributed to the development of ASTM D7566. According to Rumizen, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) was established in 2006 to facilitate the introduction of alternative aviation fuels.

In addition to providing requirements for these blends, ASTM D7566 defines specific types of aviation turbine fuel that may contain synthesized hydrocarbons for civil use in the operation and certification of aircraft; it describes fuels found satisfactory for the operation of aircraft and engines.

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