A4A applauds approval of new sustainable alternative jet fuel specification


WASHINGTON, DC – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading US airlines, applauded ASTM International’s final approval and publication of a new jet fuel specification that will further enable the use of sustainable alternative fuels in aviation.

“Approval of this new alternative jet fuel pathway brings the airline industry another step closer to widespread production of cleaner, alternative fuels that will help meet our environmental goals while enhancing the security and competitiveness of our energy supply,” said A4A Vice President, Environmental Affairs Nancy Young.

ASTM International is one of the largest standards-development organizations in the world. The rigorous ASTM review process was handled by its Committee on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants and Subcommittee on Aviation Fuel.

Supported by work undertaken by the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative® (CAAFI), which A4A helped co-found in 2006, ASTM has approved the addition of a new bio-derived jet fuel annex to the alternative jet fuel specification D7566. The new annex details the fuel properties and criteria necessary to control the manufacture and quality of this new fuel derived from renewable isobutanol, referred to as “alcohol to jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene” (ATJ-SPK), to ensure safe aviation use. The new annex provides that ATJ-SPK fuel may be blended at up to 30 percent (by volume) with conventional jet fuel.

ATJ-SPK is the fourth approved pathway for production of alternative jet fuels. The other approved alternative fuel pathways are conversion of triacylglycerides from plant oils and animal processing waste, referred to as “Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids” or “HEFA,” conversion of a variety of biomass and fossil fuel feedstocks through the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process, and hydroprocessing of fermented sugars to produce “Synthesized Iso-Paraffinic” (SIP) fuel.

Gevo, Inc. already is preparing to produce alternative jet fuel under the new specification and is working with Alaska Airlines on the deployment of the fuel in commercial flight.

“This standard provides another pathway for alternative jet fuel production, and will enable increased commercial production,” said Young. “We commend ASTM International, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the airframe and engine manufacturers, the U.S. military, fuel producers and our entire CAAFI team for continuing to drive toward commercially viable alternative jet fuels that meet the rigorous criteria set forth under the jet fuel specification.”