Biofuels

Published on July 11th, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst

15

Soaring Fuel Prices Spur Aviation Industry to Explore Alternatives

July 11th, 2008 by  

Rolls Royce and British Airways Announce Joint Research Venture

rolls royce jet engine[social_buttons]The aviation industry is facing unprecedented growth in fuel costs and growing pressure to curb emission levels. As a result, research programs, joint ventures, and public-private partnerships have all been launched to come up with new forms of jet fuel. Rolls-Royce and British Airways are the most recent companies to announce a research partnership to study the feasibility of dramatically expanding the use of the alternative fuels.

Jet fuel (kerosene) now ranks as the third-highest petroleum product in demand and its growth rate outpaces that of GDP. Kerosene is the current fuel of choice for jet fuel because It is widely available and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. The demand for kerosene on the global market has caused its price to double in the last 12 months alone. Growth in demand for kerosene is being driven, in part, by a growing culture of mobility and its transportation fuels byproducts in the rapidly growing economies of Asia, but also because of the added pressure of American military fuel consumption in the Iraq war. As global energy consumption is predicted to grow 50 percent by 2050, the aviation industry is wising-up to the notion that fuel prices are not coming down any time soon.

The British Airways – Rolls Royce project asks alternative fuel providers to submit fuel samples for testing and will then draw up a list of up to four to test on a Rolls-Royce RB211 engine from a Boeing 747 (pictured above).

Suppliers that reach the ‘short list’ will have to provide 60,000 liters of fuel and demonstrate the fuels’ suitability, sustainability, and potential for mass production and global distribution to support the world’s aviation industry.

Increased R&D Activity in Alternative Fuels for Aviation

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it will finance a new competition designed to spur innovation in renewable fuels and technologies for the aviation industry. Along with the Federal Aviation Administration, DOT granted $500,000 to the nonprofit X Prize Foundation as seed money for a contest that will call on private industry to develop alternative jet fuels or technologies. The coming aviation X Prize could ultimately carry a prize purse of $10 million or more.
  • Airbus and Honeywell also announced a new project to provide one-third of aviation’s fuel needs by 2030 using second-generation biofuels made from things like vegetable biomass and algae.

Other posts about alternative jet fuels:

Photo: 1. markhillary via flickr under a Creative Commons License; 2. Airlines.org

Other sources: The Guardian


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About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.



  • Although Oil is on a down swing, we need technolgy to proceed forward with this new algae fuel research. That green slimy stuff is full of oil…it’s free and can even be produced in the desert regions of the world !

    http://algaefuelmaking.com

  • Although Oil is on a down swing, we need technolgy to proceed forward with this new algae fuel research. That green slimy stuff is full of oil…it’s free and can even be produced in the desert regions of the world !

    http://algaefuelmaking.com

  • Algae Biofuel: The New Jet Fuel

    http://www.nationalalgaeassociation.com

  • Algae Biofuel: The New Jet Fuel

    http://www.nationalalgaeassociation.com

  • In the long run Air travel is going to be more costly other wise the aviation companies will get bankrupt the rate at which the fuel prices are going up. Quarterly the air travel’s rates will be increased 10-15%.

  • In the long run Air travel is going to be more costly other wise the aviation companies will get bankrupt the rate at which the fuel prices are going up. Quarterly the air travel’s rates will be increased 10-15%.

  • Me

    @Uncle B

    “just fly to Europe to see the funny little diesel cars they drive and the hungry looks on their faces – unseen here, a real novelty, I tell you!”

    What are you talking about?! Hungry Faces? Europeans aren’t starving, they have the same standard of living as North Americans, except the gas costs more.

  • Me

    @Uncle B

    “just fly to Europe to see the funny little diesel cars they drive and the hungry looks on their faces – unseen here, a real novelty, I tell you!”

    What are you talking about?! Hungry Faces? Europeans aren’t starving, they have the same standard of living as North Americans, except the gas costs more.

  • Doc Rings

    I was just reading some ancient history last night about the babylonians… guess what did them in: economic disaster after overspending on domestic luxuries, and going broke fighting so many wars…

    That’s how great empires fall: first economic mismanagement, then the wolves come in.

    Congress better get their sticky mitts out of the special interests and their own retirement planning, and start considering America’s financial future their biggest “special interest”.

  • Doc Rings

    I was just reading some ancient history last night about the babylonians… guess what did them in: economic disaster after overspending on domestic luxuries, and going broke fighting so many wars…

    That’s how great empires fall: first economic mismanagement, then the wolves come in.

    Congress better get their sticky mitts out of the special interests and their own retirement planning, and start considering America’s financial future their biggest “special interest”.

  • MarkG@BA

    “….will then draw up a list of up to four to test on a Rolls-Royce RB211 engine from a Boeing 747 (pictured above)….”

    Beg to differ, but that is actually a RR Trent on a B777. The six wheeled bogey in the background is a dead giveaway….

    😉

  • MarkG@BA

    “….will then draw up a list of up to four to test on a Rolls-Royce RB211 engine from a Boeing 747 (pictured above)….”

    Beg to differ, but that is actually a RR Trent on a B777. The six wheeled bogey in the background is a dead giveaway….

    😉

  • Pingback: politikly.com | politics and world news()

  • Uncle B

    Today oil hit $147.28 bbl. When does the shit hit the fan and we see dramatic changes of any real consequence? We still plan flights, only now it takes a bit more money. Cars may get smaller, so we buy bigger models. Food costs more so we pay more, but we still have enough left over for the movie. Is ther no end to our personal wealth? We borrow huge amounts of money, pay horrendous interest rates and just keep on going! If things get tight, Georgie Boy the greatest Prez. of all times hands out dough by the thousands to us! We are so goddamn rich even god can’t touch us!The rest of the world walks around starving in the dark while we party, and as long as we vote republican and put the screws to the rest of the world we have nothing to worry about. Why? How does this work? Why does it work? Don’t ask, just fly to Europe to see the funny little diesel cars they drive and the hungry looks on their faces – unseen here, a real novelty, I tell you!

  • Uncle B

    Today oil hit $147.28 bbl. When does the shit hit the fan and we see dramatic changes of any real consequence? We still plan flights, only now it takes a bit more money. Cars may get smaller, so we buy bigger models. Food costs more so we pay more, but we still have enough left over for the movie. Is ther no end to our personal wealth? We borrow huge amounts of money, pay horrendous interest rates and just keep on going! If things get tight, Georgie Boy the greatest Prez. of all times hands out dough by the thousands to us! We are so goddamn rich even god can’t touch us!The rest of the world walks around starving in the dark while we party, and as long as we vote republican and put the screws to the rest of the world we have nothing to worry about. Why? How does this work? Why does it work? Don’t ask, just fly to Europe to see the funny little diesel cars they drive and the hungry looks on their faces – unseen here, a real novelty, I tell you!

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