AMERICAS: ATA applauds new bio-jet fuel specification

The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA), the industry trade organisation for the leading US airlines, has applauded the ASTM International Committee on Petroleum Products and Lubricants for approving a new jet fuel specification that will further enable the use of sustainable alternative fuels in aviation. “The committee endorsement of this specification is significant […]


The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA), the industry trade organisation for the leading US airlines, has applauded the ASTM International Committee on Petroleum Products and Lubricants for approving a new jet fuel specification that will further enable the use of sustainable alternative fuels in aviation. “The committee endorsement of this specification is significant for all consumers of jet fuel, bringing the airline industry one step closer to of widespread production of cleaner, alternative fuels that will help meet our environmental goals while enhancing the security and competitiveness of our energy supply,” said ATA president and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. The new annex details the fuel properties and criteria necessary to control the manufacture and quality of this new fuel, referred to as “Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids” (HEFA) fuel, to ensure safe aviation use. Once issued by ASTM, the revised specification will enable use of HEFA fuels from biomass feedstocks such as camelina, jatropha or algae, in combination with conventional jet fuel up to a 50 percent blend. With the approval of the alternative jet fuel specification for HEFA (sometimes referred to as “hydroprocessed renewable jet” fuel), hydroprocessing of plant oils becomes another pathway for production of alternative jet fuels. In 2009, ASTM approved Fischer-Tropsch processing as the first pathway to be covered by its alternative jet fuel specification. “This standard provides another pathway for alternative jet fuel production, and will enable increased commercial production,” said Calio. “At the same time, we continue to explore other pathways that may be able to meet the rigorous criteria needed under the jet fuel specification.”