BUFF To Test New Improved JP-? Jet Fuel At Edwards
In a world where the
Air Force uses fully half of all the petroleum consumed by the US
government, they are naturally interested in securing a steady
supply of fly-juice. On Tuesday, a B-52 is scheduled to take off
from Edwards AFB in the California desert using an ultra-clean fuel
refined right here in the USA.
Syntroleum, a fuel research facility in Tulsa, OK
developed the clean fuel in response to the Department of Defense
(DOD) sponsored Assured Fuels Initiative (AFI) which focuses on
producing high performance alternative fuel for the military.
After five years of research, Syntroleum has come up with a fuel
based on Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology that allows
high-performance combustion using alternative techniques not
related to the traditional oil refining process. The fuel has been
tested for several years on National Parks vehicles and city
The B-52 will fly with a combination of traditional JP-8 and the
new FT fuel.
The initial impetus for the AFI was to reduce American
dependence on foreign oil, but the clean burning properties are
evidently a bonus. Previous research and testing by the military on
Syntroleum's FT fuels showed superior performance over traditional
crude oil-based aviation fuels. Particulates and soot emissions
have also shown a reduction of over 90
percent. This improves engine efficiency,
performance, durability, and overall air quality.
"Having access to adequate supplies of jet fuel is a national
security issue, and with an assured source, price fluctuations are
reduced which provides stable planning and budgeting," said Bill
Harrison, a fuels expert with the Air Force Research Laboratory at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
Jack Holmes, president
and CEO of Syntroleum is even more confident, "This scheduled
flight demonstration will be a significant and historical
accomplishment for the company. We believe that successful testing
of our fuel will provide the military with the experience necessary
to consider long-term off-take agreements of fully tested FT
fuels...the military can depend on Syntroleum to meet its stringent
fuel quality specifications." Holmes continued, "In light of high
energy prices, we believe that successful military testing of our
fuel could motivate commercial airlines to vigorously pursue FT
aviation products for use in their fleet operations. This B-52
flight test could give birth to a whole new way of providing
ultra-clean fuel to the aviation industry.
Hmmm ... a clean-burning fuel that reduces pollution 90%, can be
refined from plentiful American coal or natural gas, and
independence from foreign oil? Go BUFF, go!