22-Oct-2010 9:19 AM

USDA and FAA sign alternative fuels agreement

US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) signed (21-Oct-2010) an MoU to develop alternatives to jet fuel. Working with USDA, the FAA will assess the availability of different kinds of feedstocks that could be processed by bio-refineries to produce jet fuels. The MoU covers an initial five-year agreement to develop aviation fuel from forest and crop residues and other "green" feedstocks, as well as developing a tool to evaluate the status of different components of a feedstock supply chain, the potential of biomass for production of jet fuel and the length of time it will take to ramp up to full-scale production. The agencies already have existing programmes and collaborative agreements with private and public partners and resources to help biorefiners develop cost-effective production plans for jet aircraft biofuels. The agreement supports a larger research plan led by USDA through its five Regional Biomass Research Centers, which will help accelerate the development of a commercial advanced biofuels industry across the US. [more]

Boeing welcomed (21-Oct-201) the move. [more]

Boeing: "Today's announcement is welcome news for the commercial aviation industry, which sees sustainable biofuels as a key element of its plan to lower its carbon emissions...The challenge then will be to prime the production pump, and bring biofuels to an attractive price point for airlines...The USDA-FAA partnership will further help in that regard. We applaud their efforts and  look forward to working with them to commercialize biofuels that can help the aviation industry meet its aggressive carbon reduction goals," Billy M Glover, VP Environment and Aviation Policy. Source: Boeing, 21-Oct-2010.

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