Jet Fuel from Hooch Comes Closer as ASTM Clears Way for Ethanol-to-Jet, Higher ATJ Blends
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) In Washington, an ASTM International Sub-Committee has voted in favor of revising specification D7566 (Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons) to include ethanol in addition to isobutanol; and increase the approved blend levels from 30% to 50% — that is, the percentage of alcohol-to-jet fuel allowed when blended with petro-based jet fuel. These revisions to the D7566 specification will now go to the full ASTM International for final approval which is expected later this year.
Why are ethanol producers not raging with happiness at the news of a new aviation fuel market Although it sounds more like a goose trying to say “You’ll like him” — it’s the Natural Law of Alternative Commodity Markets, and it’s the biggest single impediment, globally, retarding the advance of renewable transport fuels as a world-scale low-carbon alternative to petroleum.
NLACM states that no one will make a fuel, however attractive to customers (such as a drop-in hydrocarbon fuel) if the market value of the intermediates (such as an alcohol) is higher when sold separately.
In other words, no one will ever make a hydrocarbon fuel from Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch, excepting a complete emergency, no matter if the technology exists or not. And no one will make one gallon of $2.00 aviation fuel from 2.1 gallons of $1.51 ethanol unless extraordinary circumstances apply. We look at the NLACM problem here. http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2017/09/07/crossing-the-valley-of-nlacm-with-alcohol-to-hydrocarbon-technology/
The Alcohol to jet fuel backstory
The aviation sector is now subject to global de-carbonization compliance regulations beginning in 2020 under the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Given such great demand, and now with the ATJ specification in place, a full supply chain exists to effectively scale up and drive production costs down over the coming years while carbon offset policies are advanced.
Jet from booze, and booze from waste gas: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to LanzaTech/PNNL Syngas-to-ATJ Fuels
Renewable jet fuel’s progress: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Gevo’s ATJ
Jet fuel from (any) bio-alcohol: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Byogy Renewables