Airbus Applauds Synthetic Fuels Breakthrough

2.10.2009   (Air Cargo World)

Airbus says it welcomes the latest steps toward the approval by leading global
standards-development organization, ASTM, for the use of a 50% synthetic jet fuel
in commercial aviation.

“This breakthrough paves the way for a 100% xTL blend made entirely from bio
feedstock, such as woodchip waste,” said Christian Dumas, Airbus Vice President
Sustainable Development and Eco-Efficiency.     Synthetic liquid jet fuels can be
made from biomass, natural gas or coal, all of which are known as xTL fuels.

Dumas added, “This new specification is a major steps towards reducing aviation’s
environmental footprint and represents a significant achievement along the Airbus
alternate fuels roadmap.”

The aircraft manufacturer’s alternative fuels roadmap envisions that roughly
30% of jet fuel used in 2030 could be sustainable biojet fuel “if maturity of
alternative high yield non-food feedstock occurs in the middle of the next decade,”
according to an Airbus statement this week.

Once known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, Pennsylvania-based ASTM develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical
standards for materials, products, systems and services.     It supports thousands
of volunteer technical committees, whose members are drawn from across the globe.


(xTL fuels are synthetic liquid jet fuels made from biomass, natural gas or coal.      
TL stands for To Liquid.       GTL fuels are gas to liquid).
Comment by an   AirportWatch member:
We do need to push like mad to keep, in the forefront of everyone’s consciousness,
that it’s NOT simply “carbon” that’s the issue for aviation: it’s global warming
– the radiative forcing effect effectively trebles the climate-change effects
of any carbon-based fuel that’s burned at altitude by the time the accompanying
Nox and water-vapour effects are factored in.    
Even if the industry can produce biofuels that are created with the emission
of little carbon, once they are burned in a plane’s engines at altitude, they
produce just as much carbon dioxide as any other fuel – three times as much global
warming effect as the some biofuel being burned at ground level.