Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


This research paper examines the feasibility for second-generation biofuels as an alternative fuel supply for both piston- and turbine-powered general aviation aircraft. With relevant research given to the history of biofuels and their technologic development, this paper aims to provide an analysis of biofuel development, biofuel technology and its potential impacts, specifically for the aviation industry.

Multiple industry and international studies are reviewed in support of the feasibility of second-generation biofuels as an alternative for the general aviation industry. Current industry activities and technological developments were reviewed to set a baseline for biofuel development and application. It is found that there is increasing interest in biofuel technology and ample support for research and design of biofuel as it pertains to the aviation industry.

Industry leaders have created multiple initiatives, consortiums and action groups in an effort to further the research and development of biofuel technology. The whole value chain of biofuel, including scientists, investors, aviation leaders, manufacturers and production have been involved in the movement to find an alternative to conventional aviation fuel. This is brought on by the demand for diminishing rising commercial aviation expenditures and reducing the carbon footprint of the aviation industry.

General aviation leaders have taken a vested interest in converting current aircraft to diesel engines in an effort to bring biofuels into the general aviation community. Additional developments conducted by industry manufacturers have moved towards offering diesel-powered aircrafts as options. This change actually offers a reduction in lifetime fuel costs and an opportunity to use biodiesel fuel. The feasibility of using second- or third-generation biofuel is dependent on the economic and industrial transition.



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