Alternative Fuels Initiatives Advance

More than 85 percent of the Air Force’s fleet is now certified to operate unconstrained with a 50-50 blend of regular JP-8 jet fuel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene, according to service officials. USAF’s goal is to have the entire fleet cleared to run on this fuel mixture next year. So far, the B-1s, B-52s, C-17s, F-15s, F-16s, F-22s, and KC-135s are certified, Air Force spokesman Gary Strasburg told the Daily Report last week. SPK is derived today from natural gas under the Fischer Tropsch refining process, but could also be produced from coal, of which the US has abundant supply. Use of SPK is one means of reducing US dependence on foreign sources of energy. More recently, USAF has also been testing fuel derived from biomass, such as the oil of the camelina seed and animal fat. (See also Edwards report by Kenji Thuloweit)