As Jet Fuel Prices Soar, a Green Option Nears the Runway
The most eagerly anticipated biofuel for commercial flight could be certified this summer, offering hope for aviation to cut its petroleum dependence.
With high fuel costs buffeting airlines around the world, the best hope for alternative energy for commercial aviation may be on the horizon.
The standards-setting body ASTM International is set to vote this summer on certification of hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ) fuel.
Tests both in the laboratory and in the air (led by a most prodigious jet fuel consumer, the U.S. Department of Defense) have shown that HRJ can be processed from many types of feedstock—from weedy plants to animal fat—to make a fuel chemically identical to the crude-oil based kerosene that powers flight today.
(Related: "First Green Supersonic Jet to Launch on Earth Day")
"We know it's feasible and safe," said Lourdes Maurice, director of the office of environment and energy at