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USAF Conversion to F-T Syngas Continues March 21, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Fischer-Tropsch.
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Progress continues in certifying Fischer-Tropsch process of producing synthetic fuels. 

On Wednesday, March 19, a B1 bomber became the US Air Force’s first aircraft to fly at supersonic speed using a 50/50 blend of synthetic and petroleum fuel. The flight occurred over the White Sands Missile Range airspace in south-central New Mexico but took off from Dyess AFB, Abilene , Texas .The certification process so far has detected no significant differences in performance, flight safety, durability, ground handling or storage between synfuel and conventional JP-8. 

This is the fourth USAF aircraft to be certified to use syngas, and keeps them on schedule to convert the entire fleet to the 50/50 blend by 2011. 

In other news, the U.S. Air Force team that has developed this blend of petroleum and synthetic fuel for the B-52 Bomber received the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2007 Excellence in Aviation Research Award at a ceremony March 14.

Barry Scott, director of the FAA Research and Technology Development Office, said that “in the 10 years we’ve given it, this was the first unanimous choice.”

Development of synfuel is a significant effort in the Air Force’s quest to find a source of domestically produced, assured fuels, which would be sufficient for the Air Force to perform its national defense mission if current, overseas petroleum sources are threatened. Other motivations include fuel prices and environmental concerns. (FT syngas burns cleaner and is cheaper to make than JP-8.) The research and certifications are also useful for certifying commercial jet engines.  The long-range effects should be cleaner airwaves and more stable energy prices.

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1. AF Pushes for SynGas Production « Alternatives in Energy Production - March 22, 2008

[…] Alternatives in Energy Production « USAF Conversion to F-T Syngas Continues […]


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