Sustainable transportation is making great strides and bio-jet fuel via Fischer-Tropsch is coming onto the scene. Electrification of the automotive and public transport sectors is reducing emissions and allowing increased use of renewables. This has not been the case for aviation until recently, as that industry has continued to consume vast quantities of fossil fuels and emits large amounts of carbon into our atmosphere. Commercial aviation requires highly energy-dense fuel and propulsion systems that allow for long-range operation. Today’s electric drives and batteries just can’t compete with jet engines and jet fuel. Making flight more sustainable requires a different approach – replacing fossil-based jet fuel with bio-derived alternatives. Now, however, many routes to bio-jet fuel are being explored. There are constraints, including feedstock availability and poor fuel quality, and at present, only a select few hold the potential to displace a significant portion of conventional jet fuel. Synthetic fuels produced from a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) based process are one of those exceptions as they can be made from nearly any carbon-containing feedstock and the resulting fuel is in many ways superior to its petroleum-derived counterparts. See: The Compelling Case For Biojet Fuel
Crude oil availability and prices mandate shifting to non-petroleum sources such as aviation fuel. The Fischer-Tropsch process uses a gas mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen which is converted into various liquid hydrocarbons and provides a good alternative. These synthetic fuels produced from Fischer-Tropsch (FT) based processes can be made from nearly any carbon-containing feedstock, and the resulting fuel is in many ways superior to its petroleum counterpart. Historically, the FT process has been challenged with high upfront capital costs, which is why commercial plants are very large; taking advantage of economies of scale. Fortunately, over the past couple of decades, great strides have been made in reducing the economically viable scale of FT to a point where commercial plants are being built that match well with the logistics of biomass and refuse-derived fuel (RDF). These include Fulcrum BioEnergy’s plant in Nevada and Red Rock Biofuel’s plant in Oregon. See Fischer Tropsch Expert.
There are several potential problems with FT jet fuel. First, it can be costly compared to traditional fossil fuels. Second, it can lead to high carbon emissions. Third, it may not meet the same quality standards as traditional jet fuels. Fourth, the supply chain for FT jet fuel is not as well established as for traditional jet fuels. Those things said several advancements have been made helping the FT jet fuel to become a viable and sustainable alternative to traditional jet fuels.
For more than 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has been at the forefront of the bioeconomy. Our highly differentiated market position centers around our deep subject matter expertise in very specialized areas. We help clients minimize technical and economic risk by leveraging best practices in our industries, and we have a long track record of providing insightful analysis and practical advice. Our reputation is unparalleled because we provide a simpliﬁed process, with a single point of contact to a diverse international network of proven experts in biofuels, biomaterials, feedstocks, alternative proteins, and existing & emerging technologies. Providing access to over 150 world-renowned bioeconomy experts allows us to create tailored solutions to meet each project’s individual needs. Please take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for further information.