US cabinet secretaries renew push for renewable fuels in aviation

16 April 2013 21:15  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending for five years its agreement to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other partners to help develop a viable biofuel for the aviation industry, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Tuesday .

Vilsack signed the agreement with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in Maryland.

"By continuing to work together to produce American-made 'drop-in' aviation fuels from renewable feedstocks, we will create jobs and economic opportunity in rural America, lessen America's reliance on foreign oil and develop a thriving biofuels industry that will benefit commercial and military enterprises," Vilsack said.

The federal government and its partners hope to support the annual production of 1bn gallons (3.8bn litres) of drop in aviation biofuel by 2018, according to USDA.

The new agreement, which includes partners from the commercial aviation sector, follows the 2010-2012 "Farm to Fly" initiative.

In July 2010, USDA, industry trade organisation Airlines for America and aircraft manufacturer Boeing signed a resolution formalizing their commitment to work together on the "Farm to Fly" initiative.

Farm to Fly builds upon the work of USDA's Regional Biomass Research Centers to produce energy-producing feedstocks within different regions.

The renewed agreement focuses on designating personnel, evaluating current and potential feedstock types and systems, developing multiple feedstock supply chains, developing state and local public-private teams, communicating results, and issuing periodic reports, USDA said.


By: Leela Landress
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