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US Air Force flies with biomass on all engines

The US Air Force scheduled a A-10 Thunderbolt II jet aircraft flight at Eglin Air Force Base in March on a blend of biomass-derived and conventional JP-8 jet fuel.

The biomass fuel used is hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ), part of a class of fuels derived from either plant oil or animal fat feedstocks.

The feedstock source of the biomass powering the A-10 demonstration is camelina oil, a flowering plant in the same family as mustard, cabbage, and broccoli, but not used as a food-source.

While additional testing will be conducted to explore the full extent of their benefits, test data show that particulate emissions are reduced during combustion of biomass derived fuels.

Further Air Force HRJ certification flight tests of the F-15 Eagle, F-22 Raptor, and C-17 Globemaster are planned to begin this summer.

The A-10 biomass fuel demonstration flight supports the Air Force’s 2010 Energy Plan goal to be prepared to cost –competitively acquire 50% of domestic aviation fuel from an alternative fuel blend by 2016.

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