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18 Nov 11. SDTS transitions to alternative fuels blend. The US Navy (USN) has concluded its largest demonstration to date of alternative shipboard fuel use with the successful 17-hour sailing of the Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS) along the California coast as part of an overarching strategy to increase energy security and safeguard the environment. The SDTS is a decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer, ex- Paul F Foster, reconfigured to provide the USN with a remotely controlled, at-sea engineering test and evaluation platform without risk to personnel or operational assets.
(Source: Jane’s, IDR)
01 Dec 11. UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has been awarded a $1.1m contract from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) via the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center to develop and demonstrate technology that will produce renewable jet fuel from alcohols found in natural feedstocks. Under the contract, Honeywell’s UOP will produce renewable jet fuel from a type of alcohol called isobutanol. Isobutanol, to be supplied for this project by advanced biofuel company Gevo, can be produced from a variety of starch and sugar feedstocks, including corn. In the future, inedible sources, such as corn stover, bagasse and wood residues, could also be used as feedstocks. The contract supports U.S. government efforts to identify and accelerate the commercial availability of next-generation, non-fossil jet fuel. Isobutanol-derived biofuels will offer new renewable sources for jet fuel production beyond the natural oils and biomass materials that have been introduced for commercial and military flight in the last several years. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
02 Dec 11. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $7.7m in contracts to eight companies to help advance alternative, environmentally-friendly, sustainable sources for commercial jet fuel. The FAA funds are being distributed by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) John A. Volpe Center. The contracts address a recommendation issued by the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, which was commissioned by Secretary LaHood last year. The committee, comprised of experts from industry, academia, labor and government, specifically recommended that DOT exercise strong national leadership to promote and display U.S. aviation as a first user of sustainable alternative fuels. Accordingly, the eight companies selected for the contracts will help the FAA develop and approve alternative, sustainably-sourced “drop-in” jet fuels that can be used without changing aircraft engine systems or airport fueling infrastructure. As part of that work, the companies will develop these biofuels from sources such as alcohols, sugars, biomass, and organic materials known as pyrolysis oils. In addition, the contracts call for research into alternative jet fuel quality control, examination of how jet biofuels affect engine durability, and provide guidance to jet biofuel users about factors that affect sustainability. (Source: ASD Network)