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Published on October 1st, 2008 | by Meg Hamill

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World’s First 100% Renewable Jet Fuel is Created


The Department of Defense funded the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) to create the world’s first renewable jet fuel, and the mission had been accomplished.

It didn’t surprise me to learn that the Department of Defense is the number one consumer of petroleum in America.  And so neither did it surprise me to learn that the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) was granted a $4.7 million contract by the Department of Defense to research alternative and renewable sources of fuel.

My interest was piqued when, a few days ago, the EERC claimed to have invented the world’s first 100% renewable jet fuel.

JP-8 fuel is a petroleum-based fuel currently in wide use by the military.  The EERC has created a substitute for the fuel, using renewable feedstock made from agricultural products and/or waste oils. The process developed by the EERC can produce propane, gasoline, jet fuel and diesel that are identical to the fuels derived from petroleum.

“The EERC is now uniquely positioned to provide drop-in-compatible JP-8 fuel from both fossil and renewable feedstocks, providing critical strategic opportunities for the U.S. military as well as commercial aviation,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold.

With a keen interest in moving towards large-scale production of the fuel, the EERC is currently engaged in talks with the private sector to accomplish just such a feat.

In the past, the EERC has worked on many projects including:  clean coal technologies, CO2 sequestration, energy and water sustainability, wind energy, biomass, water management and flood prevention.  They are based at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Posts Related to Renewable Fuels and the Aviation Industry:

Source: EEERC Website

Image Credit: image from flickr.com under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Meg Hamill who works as a freelance writer, and at the environmental non-profit LandPaths, in Santa Rosa, California.




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About the Author

Meg Hamill has been working in the environmental non-profit field in Northern California for the past six years. She currently works as a naturalist for LandPaths (in partnership with the Open Space District) in Santa Rosa California. She teaches poetry in the public school through California Poets in the Schools (CPITS) and has traveled extensively throughout South and Central America, picking up Spanish along the way. In 1999 she completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Meg holds an MFA in Creative Writing and has published two books of political/environmental poetry. Read more, buy books and e-mail Meg at www.meghamill.com.



  • anonymous

    To learn more about the commerialization of algae, you may want to check out this website:

    http://www.nationalalgaeassociation.com

  • anonymous

    To learn more about the commerialization of algae, you may want to check out this website:

    http://www.nationalalgaeassociation.com

  • Sidewinder

    Hey Meg – I don’t doubt you when you make the claim that the DoD is “the number one consumer of petroleum in America”, but how about a link to the place/places that can verify/amplify on that claim?

    Link to generic DoD website – not so useful.

  • Sidewinder

    Hey Meg – I don’t doubt you when you make the claim that the DoD is “the number one consumer of petroleum in America”, but how about a link to the place/places that can verify/amplify on that claim?

    Link to generic DoD website – not so useful.

  • Jim Watts

    I think you raise some very valid points here.

    http://www.anonweb.eu.tc

  • Jim Watts

    I think you raise some very valid points here.

    http://www.anonweb.eu.tc

  • http://www.nomadicnation.com/ Interesting

    Very interesting. Sounds an awful lot like swiftfuel, developed by John and Mary Rusek from Indiana and mentioned in Cringley’s column a few weeks back:

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20080606_005036.html

  • http://www.nomadicnation.com/ Interesting

    Very interesting. Sounds an awful lot like swiftfuel, developed by John and Mary Rusek from Indiana and mentioned in Cringley’s column a few weeks back:

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20080606_005036.html

  • Tony

    The DoD is the largest government user of fuel – because of air and ground operations of the Air Force. Duh. They are also one of the leading organizations in the world in developing alternative fuels in all areas, earning the 2005 EPA Green Power Leadership Award for its renewable energy program. Anyone who wants to critize the DoD or Air Force for their fuel consumption should read the PDF below and realize that the largest CONSUMERS of fuel are the ones most likely to develop alternative fuels in the U.S.A. because it is a FREE MARKET (for now anyway).

    http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-060627-012.pdf

  • Tony

    The DoD is the largest government user of fuel – because of air and ground operations of the Air Force. Duh. They are also one of the leading organizations in the world in developing alternative fuels in all areas, earning the 2005 EPA Green Power Leadership Award for its renewable energy program. Anyone who wants to critize the DoD or Air Force for their fuel consumption should read the PDF below and realize that the largest CONSUMERS of fuel are the ones most likely to develop alternative fuels in the U.S.A. because it is a FREE MARKET (for now anyway).

    http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-060627-012.pdf

  • Fred
  • Fred
  • wat

    The DOD may be the largest “single” consumer, but that is kind of missleading.

    The DOD uses less than industry, so if you were to consider “industry” a “single” entity as well, then DOD would not be the #1 consumer.

    Just as “industry” is made up of many different sub-organizations, so is the DOD.

  • wat

    The DOD may be the largest “single” consumer, but that is kind of missleading.

    The DOD uses less than industry, so if you were to consider “industry” a “single” entity as well, then DOD would not be the #1 consumer.

    Just as “industry” is made up of many different sub-organizations, so is the DOD.

  • Andy

    I’m all for “renewable fuel” as long as it doesn’t cut into food supplies. Let’s try feeding humanity before we feed jets.

  • Andy

    I’m all for “renewable fuel” as long as it doesn’t cut into food supplies. Let’s try feeding humanity before we feed jets.

  • Sheldon

    Any word on how much this new fuel costs? what will the price of oil have to jump to for this to be competitive?

  • Sheldon

    Any word on how much this new fuel costs? what will the price of oil have to jump to for this to be competitive?

  • Eric

    I view this as good news. How many technologies were developed by the military that now have everyday uses in the civilian world? GPS, the Internet, Hummers, to name just a few. Once the DoD gets on board and starts using renewables, it will trickle down into the rest of the economy.

  • Eric

    I view this as good news. How many technologies were developed by the military that now have everyday uses in the civilian world? GPS, the Internet, Hummers, to name just a few. Once the DoD gets on board and starts using renewables, it will trickle down into the rest of the economy.

  • Jake

    Andy,

    The food vs. fuel debate is dead. It has been proven that even corn ethanol is barely related to an increase in food prices. The bottom line is that there is more than enough food in this world to feed everyone, and that 2/3 of this world has too much to eat, while 1/3 don’t have enough to eat.

    What we need to do RIGHT NOW is remove the strategic value from petroleum fuels. We need options at the pump, so that the middle east ceases to dictate world affairs…

  • Jake

    Andy,

    The food vs. fuel debate is dead. It has been proven that even corn ethanol is barely related to an increase in food prices. The bottom line is that there is more than enough food in this world to feed everyone, and that 2/3 of this world has too much to eat, while 1/3 don’t have enough to eat.

    What we need to do RIGHT NOW is remove the strategic value from petroleum fuels. We need options at the pump, so that the middle east ceases to dictate world affairs…

  • http://blog.800hightech.com 800HighTech

    As Eric said, “I view this as good news. How many technologies were developed by the military that now have everyday uses in the civilian world?”

    I have to have to agree….good stuff.

  • http://blog.800hightech.com 800HighTech

    As Eric said, “I view this as good news. How many technologies were developed by the military that now have everyday uses in the civilian world?”

    I have to have to agree….good stuff.

  • Uncle B

    Looks like jet propulsion using fossil fuels such as oil is on its way out because oil sure as hell is running out and we can’t grow enough algae in every lake in America to feed these hungry buggers! No fear though, if we can’t fuel our war machine, no one else can! I can see the announcement now, “The old men from both countries had to call off their foolish war due to lack of oil, The young men rejoiced and went home to their sweethearts!” Maybe McCain/Bush loves war because he can no longer satisfy himself that other way?

  • Uncle B

    Looks like jet propulsion using fossil fuels such as oil is on its way out because oil sure as hell is running out and we can’t grow enough algae in every lake in America to feed these hungry buggers! No fear though, if we can’t fuel our war machine, no one else can! I can see the announcement now, “The old men from both countries had to call off their foolish war due to lack of oil, The young men rejoiced and went home to their sweethearts!” Maybe McCain/Bush loves war because he can no longer satisfy himself that other way?

  • alfalfa

    It’s not renewable. Sorry. It’s your food.

  • alfalfa

    It’s not renewable. Sorry. It’s your food.

  • Jay Draiman

    Any renewable energy source cannot and should not be at the expense of the food basket in any shape or form.

  • Jay Draiman

    Any renewable energy source cannot and should not be at the expense of the food basket in any shape or form.

  • Chaz

    I for one think that the DOD has had a lot of hand in shaping America’s present by previous work on technologies we use widely today.

    As for biofuels: I think we have plenty of non-food based technologies for creating alternative fuels. We also have A LOT of farmland just going to waste. I’d rather grow my own fuel to be honest. sounds like a good way to become self sufficient.

  • Chaz

    I for one think that the DOD has had a lot of hand in shaping America’s present by previous work on technologies we use widely today.

    As for biofuels: I think we have plenty of non-food based technologies for creating alternative fuels. We also have A LOT of farmland just going to waste. I’d rather grow my own fuel to be honest. sounds like a good way to become self sufficient.

  • http://www.renewableenergy.com Jay Draiman

    The deterioration of family values R3

    Since World War 2 when women were encouraged to join the work force en mass, to replace the men who went to war and keep the economy and the war effort going.

    There has been a trend where a mother was not home to take care of her children, monitor their behavior, help with the homework and discipline when and where necessary.

    The advancement in technology has harmed family values. The Media and Television has totally destroyed any comprehension of values in our society.

    The lack of discipline and total disregard for authority and respect is clear to anyone who has watched the past 50 years and seen our society’s values deteriorate.

    One example alone is that 50 years ago a teacher was happy to go to school to teach, a teacher was respected and looked up-to, a teacher could discipline. Today teachers fear for their lives they are petrified by their students.

    This scenario caries on to other social interactions of society today, and the situation is getting worse and worse every year.

    You will notice that many families who come from other countries have a very strong family values, good education, respect and the children excel in their studies. That is because they have not had the chance to be influenced by our society.

    The education of our children begins at home and continues in school – the parents and the school must take a proactive approach to teach our children values and respect.

    In today’s society a teacher is not permitted to discipline a student, the teachers will be sued, not to mention that teachers fears for their safety.

    Parents in today’s society are also restricted as to how to discipline their children; in many cases parents are getting sued. In many cases children would never dream of treating their parents with such disrespect 50 years ago. Today some parents are afraid of their own children.

    Abuse has been and will be with society to eternity that does not give society the right to prohibit discipline; a few acts of abuse should not cause society to prohibit proper discipline.

    When an individual or individuals utilize a vehicle to commit a crime cause the death of others, does society prohibit vehicles altogether, no, a vehicle is very important for our everyday life.

    Well, the discipline of our children by parents and teachers is extremely important for our society and the preservation of humanity.
    It seems that our society is so busy chasing the dollar, fame and glory, that anything goes all values goes out the window. We should be an example of honesty, integrity and respect to our children.

    Are Americans patriotic and proud enough to defend, protect and bring family values back to America? Is America ready to fight for honesty integrity and justice in our society, eliminate corruption and fraud, waste and self serving programs?

    Re-invigorate our economy and decrease our dependence on foreign economies and resources.

    YJ Draiman, Northridge, CA.

    PS

    Tell me and I will forget
    Show me and I may remember
    Involve me and I will understand.
    – Chinese Proverb.
    We all want health, happiness, prosperity and life

  • http://renewableenergy2.com YJ Draiman for council

    The Survival of Humankind, and Improving the World, Society, and Yourself!

    Yet who can the world trust to be idealistic and moral enough to help all of humanity and the environment, and at the same time, be practical enough to make extremely difficult decisions that can and will harm a great deal of people?

    Humanitism is a philosophy for the continued survival and perpetuation of the human race. Humanitists (people who believe in humanitism) do not have the luxury of trying again after failing. Humanitists must be more vigilant than environmentalists, because we will not have a second chance at survival.

    The survival of humanity is more important than the well being of our environment; however the environment is necessary for humanity to survive. That does not give the right for big businesses to continue doing whatever they want with only minimal or no consideration for the environment, so long as our surroundings support human life. We need to protect the environment for the continued survival and future well being of humanity. Keep in mind that without the human race, there would be no one and no need to protect the environment. Therefore, humanitism is more important than environmentalism.

    It seems that in the past 50 years the human race has pursued the money train, that such desire for financial gain has caused society to ignore and abandon honesty, values, morality and candidness etc.

    The race to financial gain has caused our leaders and the executives of the corporate world to disregard laws, ethics and the caring for each other and humanity as a whole. Deception, fraud and outright theft are their new motto all for the sake of financial gain, personal ego, fame and success.

    It seems that for the sake of success and profit people will step on anybody, family friends, co-workers and anyone who stands in their way or take advantage of anyone that could help them achieve what they want.

    That is not to say that honest and compassionate people who care do not exist, where honesty and integrity is a way of life for them, but they are a very small minority.

    As we begin the year 2011, we should all look at the past and decide with determination that everyone will from now on contribute to the betterment of humanity, society and mankind.

    We should all learn to live with each other and respect each other for the sustainability of mankind. Humanity should strive for harmony, tranquility and peace

    by: YJ Draiman, Energy/Utility/Telecom, Auditor – 12/31/2010

    PS
    The human survival instinct prods us to outlast afflictions and, if circumstances permit, to reach old age. Nothing, of course, could be more quintessentially natural than aging.

  • http://Web ron

    This is complete bullshit there is nothing here about the development of renewable fuel. Kerosene (JP-8) is a fossil fuel.

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