Overview of alternative fuel drivers, technology options, and demand fulfillment

Authored by: Kirsten Van Fossen , Kristin C. Lewis , Robert Malina , Hakan Olcay , James I. Hileman

Green Aviation: Reduction of Environmental Impact Through Aircraft Technology and Alternative Fuels

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9780415620987
eBook ISBN: 9780203119969
Adobe ISBN:


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Drop-in alternative aviation fuels (i.e., fuels that are chemically similar to petroleum-based jet fuel and compatible with existing equipment/facilities) may provide a near-term opportunity to improve aviation sustainability without requiring changes in current equipment and without hindering current approaches to improving operational practices. Strong aviation sector interest in drop-in alternative aviation fuels is driven by the potential benefits for environment, economy, and energy security (Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), 2011; Bauen et al., 2009; Federal Aviation Administration, 2011; Sustainable Aviation Fuels northwest, 2011; Sustainable Way for Alternative Fuels and Energy for Aviation, 2011). Large increases in jet fuel price and growing concerns about an uncertain supply have led the commercial aviation sector and the military to embrace the potential for alternative jet fuels as a countermeasure against supply shortages and price volatility. Concerns about aviation’s contributions to climate change as well as the long-term potential for greenhouse gas regulation have also led to greenhouse gas reduction commitments for which alternative fuels are a critical component. This introduction provides background on the three elements motivating alternative aviation fuels—environment, economy, and energy security—and introduces the currently available technology options and the requirements to fulfill demand.

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