June 14, 2012 - Airline companies are developing a bigger appetite for the biobased jet fuels described in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
In the article, C&EN Senior Business Editor Melody M. Bomgardner
explains that with successful test flights completed, airlines are ready
and eager to fuel up with biobased jet fuel. That's fuel made from
waste cooking oil from fast-food and other restaurants, waste fat,
biomass and even algae — the stuff of "pond scum." Biobased fuels are
blended into conventional Jet A-1 fuel. Airlines are interested partly
because of rising costs for petroleum-based jet fuel.
Bomgardner notes that even though test flights, like a recent United
Airlines flight from Houston to Chicago on a 40/60 mixture of bio- and
conventional fuel, were a success, a lack of suppliers is making it
harder for biobased jet fuels to get off the ground. One major barrier: a
shortage of feedstocks like algae oil, waste cooking oil and fuel
crops, which makes green jet fuels more expensive. Both the airlines and
the biofuel producers are hopeful, however, that support from the
private sector and the government will allow these green fuels to fly
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