Gevo, a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company, announced that, in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL), the Air Force Alternative Fuel Certification Division (AFCD), and the 40 Flight-Test Squadron, the company provided fuel for the first ever, successful "alcohol-to-jet" (ATJ) fuel test flight.
On June 28, at 18:30 hours, an A-10 Thunder Bolt jet aircraft performed a series of flight test maneuvers, throttle bodies, auxiliary power unit (NYSE:APU) starts, and engine assisted starts while using Gevo's 50-50 blend of ATJ fuel and JP-8. The A-10 Thunder Bolt is a single-seat aircraft with two high-bypass GE TF34 turbofan power plants. Engine starting and emergency in flight power generation is taken care of by a Honeywell 36-50 APU.
"We're extremely proud to have witnessed and contributed to the USAF's first and only ATJ test flight," said Chief Operating Office and President Chris Ryan. "Last week's test flight represented an accumulation of more than 4,000 hours of hard work involving innovative testing, multiple players and years of research on everyone's part. Together, we have proven that ATJ fuel is a technically viable and promising alternative for both military and commercial applications."
"This is a great accomplishment for the USAF, Gevo and the biofuels industry. We've validated that ATJ from isobutanol is a clean burning, homegrown, drop-in jet fuel. The USAF's flight has taken the industry one step closer to full commercialization. We remain committed to commercialization and believe we have the most economic route to deliver aviation biofuels at scale," Ryan said.
Gevo was put on contract last year to produce 11,000 gallons of its ATJ fuel for the USAF for testing by the AFCD. The fuel is derived from isobutanol and was designed specifically to be in full compliance with aviation fuel specifications, while delivering equal performance, including fit-for-purpose properties.
"The AF previously ran a series of engine ground tests, using the 50/50 blend of the ATJ and JP-8," said Jeffrey Braun, Division Chief of AFCD. "Data was then compared with previous results from JP-8 baseline testing. Engine performance parameters monitored during the testing remained unchanged when utilizing the ATJ fuel blend. We were very pleased with the technical performance of the ATJ material."
For further information, please visit www.gevo.com
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