Gassing Up

The Air Force Research Lab, together with the University of Dayton Research Institute, plans to construct an Alternative Aerospace Fuels Research Facility on the grounds of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The Dayton Business Journal reported May 22 that the facility, which is expected to be running by mid 2010, will be the first federal research facility in the US designed to derive jet fuel from coal and biomass. But its purpose will be scientific as it will produce just 15 gallons of the synthetic fuel per day, as opposed to copious amounts needed to fuel Air Force aircraft, the newspaper said, citing a base spokesman. The approximately 4,000-square-foot facility will be located near AFRL’s existing fuels and lubricants laboratory. The Air Force is spearheading US government efforts to foster a domestic market for synthetic and alternative fuels.