The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $7.7 million 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.
“These new green aviation fuels will use energy sources right here at home,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “This type of innovation will create good-paying jobs in the airline and energy industries and help protect the environment at the same time.”
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.