GE Aviation has begun jet engine combustor component testing with a jet fuel comprised 100% of renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) from renewable technology and biofuels company Gevo.

The testing is being performed as part of the Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise Program (CLEEN). CLEEN is the FAA’s principal environmental effort to accelerate the development of new aircraft and engine technologies, and to advance sustainable alternative jet fuels in conjunction with aviation industry leaders.

A release from Gevo says: “Bio-based hydrocarbon fuels have similar performance characteristics to the petroleum-based fuels used today, albeit with reductions in particulate matter and other air quality related emissions. Some bio-based jet fuels, such as Gevo’s ATJ, have the potential to improve performance, such as providing greater energy density which translates into better mileage.”

Accelerate the change

Dr. Gurhan Andac, Engineering Leader, Aviation Fuels & Additives, GE Aviation, commented:  “GE Aviation’s collaboration with the FAA and Gevo under CLEEN is an excellent example of our long-standing commitment to sustainable aviation.”

He added: “Efforts such as this one are expected to help accelerate the transition from petroleum-based fuels to more environmentally friendly ones.”

Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “If we are truly going to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aviation, we need to be able to replace larger percentages of petroleum jet fuel with bio-based alternatives such as Gevo’s ATJ. The future is to replace the whole barrel of oil with bio-based hydrocarbons that stimulate the economy, mitigate GHG emissions, draw on abundant resources and enhance sustainability.”