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Published on August 27th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz


Swift Enterprises Joins Race for Alternative Jet Fuel

August 27th, 2008 by  


Add another contender to the alternative aviation fuel race: Swift Enterprises. The company, which is based in Indiana, has developed a renewable jet fuel made from landfill waste, sorghum, algae, woodchips, and other feedstocks.

Swift’s biofuel currently costs $60 per gallon to produce, but the company believes that the cost will drop to $1.80 once they begin full-scale production.

And while other companies are also working on alternative fuels for planes, Swift believes that it has the most promising solution.

According to a spokesman for the company, Swift’s fuel has been the only successful challenger to outperform petroleum as a high-octane aviation fuel.

However, Swift still has many hurdles to get past before its fuel becomes a viable option for aircraft. The company is in the process of getting approval from the FAA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and ASTM International (an organization that sets technical standards). FAA testing for the fuel only began in June.

Both the United States government as well as private companies are pushing for aviation fuel alternatives—the US Department of Transportation is funding a competition to spur renewable fuel innovation, and airplane companies Airbus and Honeywell recently announced a project to provide a third of aviation’s fuel needs using second-generation biofuels by 2030.

Other posts about alternative jet fuels:

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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