GE Aviation pursues alternative fuel sources for its jet engine testing
GE Aviation, which consumes more than 10 million gallons of jet fuel annually at its engine testing centers, will broaden its fuel source beginning in 2016.
GE Aviation has signed an agreement to purchase cellulosic synthetic biofuel from The D’Arcinoff Group (DG), based in Washington, D.C., to be used for production and development testing of GE jet engines.
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The 10-year agreement calls for GE’s baseline commitment of 500,000 gallons annually of the low-emissions jet fuel to be used at the company’s main jet engine testing facility in Peebles, Ohio. Options are in place to order up to 10 million gallons annually of the synthetic biofuel.
Since 2007, GE Aviation has partnered with several government entities and airlines worldwide in demonstrating various alternative fuels in its engines – either through ground tests or full-fledged aircraft flight demonstrations. The demonstrations have involved several GE engine models from the F414 fighter jet for the Boeing F/A-18 to the GE CF6 commercial engine for such large airliners as the Boeing 767.
The agreement with D’Arcinoff Group will enable GE Aviation to mix the cellulosic synthetic biofuel in the same storage tanks as those used for traditional jet fuel. The cost for the biofuel will be comparable to traditional jet fuel.
The fuel will be produced at the D’Arcinoff Group Energy Program facility, which will integrate synthetic fuel, power generation and distribution. The facility, to be located in Hudspeth County, Texas, is expected to be operational by early 2016.
“Developing alternative sources for jet fuel is fundamentally good for the aviation industry and the environment,” said Mike Epstein, chief technologist leading the alternative fuels efforts at GE Aviation. “This collaboration enables GE Aviation to further its experience with alternative biofuels in our engines, and foster the development of a fuel source which has great potential.”
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Source : GE Aviation