ATA forms alliance to advance alternative aviation fuels

Washington DC
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A US airline group has partnered with a military agency to overcome the logistics obstacles facing the alternative fuels market for aviation.

The alliance between the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) and the US Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) will focus on factors such as defining production and distribution networks for alternative aviation fuels.

The military agency is responsible for buying and delivering billions of dollars worth of conventional aviation fuels every year.

The new alliance has been formed as approval of bio-derived fuels is expected as early as 2010.

Voluntary standards development organisation ASTM International this year considers up to 50% blends of bio-derived generic synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK), called hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ), for commercial production and aircraft use.

Last year ASTM issued a specification for non-petroleum-based fuels, D7566, for similar synthetic blends produced derived from the Fischer-Tropsch process. IN addition, ASTM approved the modification of the existing specification for aviation turbine fuel, D1655, to recognize fuels made with synthetic components.