1-Dec-2011 Source: FAA
WASHINGTON â€“ 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 Transportationâ€™s (DOT) John A. Volpe Center.
â€œThese new green aviation fuels will use energy sources right here at home,â€ said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. â€œThis type of innovation will create good-paying jobs in the airline and energy industries and help protect the environment at the same time.â€
The contracts address a recommendation issued by the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, which was commissioned by Secretary LaHood last year.Â 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 â€œdrop-inâ€ 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.
â€œAlternative aviation fuels offer enormous potential environmental and economic benefits,â€ said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. â€œThis work, in combination with investments being made by other U.S. agencies and industry, will advance our pursuit of clean alternative jet fuels for a more sustainable NextGen aviation system in the United States and around the world.â€
The contracts build on alternative fuel development investments by the Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as by FAA.
Todayâ€™s contracts stem from work the FAA is doing through the agencyâ€™s Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative (CAAFI) and the agencyâ€™s Continuous Lower Emissions, Energy and Noise (CLEEN) program. These public, academic and private-sector partnerships include approximately 300 stakeholders from the airline, aerospace, energy, research, state and federal governments. More information on CAAFI and CLEEN can be found at: http://www.caafi.org or http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/apl/research/aircraft_technology/cleen/
A list of the awards is as follows: