August 21, 2014, 3:20 pm
What are Bio-Derived Jet Fuels? PDF Print E-mail

CImage_21Aviation fuel is a specialised type of petroleum-based fuel which is used to power aircraft and, along with many other industries, the aviation sector needs a substitute for these fossil fuels.

Relative to ground transportation such as cars, trucks and rail, aviation fuel is understandably constrained by a stricter set of safety, technological and regulatory requirements and often contains additives to reduce the risk of icing or explosion due to high temperatures, amongst other properties.

Jet fuel is the most common fuel for large aircraft operated typically by airlines, military and large corporate aircraft. It is a clear to straw colored fuel, based on either an unleaded paraffin  oil (Jet A-1), or a naphtha-kerosene  blend (Jet B). It is similar to diesel fuel, and can be used in either compression ignition engines or turbine engines.

The only 'alternative fuel' which is able to meet all of the environmental, economic and technical challenges for the aviation industry is aviation fuel which has been derived from biomass (crops, plants, trees, algae, waste and other organic matter).

Ongoing fuel tests, demonstration flights and proven refining technology have given the aviation industry the confidence that bio-derived jet fuel blends can be created to meet the industry's stringent safety and technical fuel standards. One class of bio-derived jet fuel was certified in 2009 and a second covering most other biomass sources is expected to be approved for commercial use in 2011.