US Army tests isobutanol fuel blend in helicopter

23 December 2013 19:34 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS) --  The US Army has flown a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on a 50/50 blend of ATJ-8 fuel from biomass-derived isobutanol producer Gevo and petroleum-based fuel, the company said on Monday. The helicopter is the first Army aircraft to fly using the isobutanol alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel.

The Army is conducting flight tests with renewable fuels as part of a mandate that it certify 100% of its air plaforms on alternative or renewable fuels by 2016. Flight tests with the Gevo isobutanol blend took place over the week of 11 November.

Gevo had previously signed a contract to supply over 16,0000 gallons of fuel to the US Army to be used in testing. Flight testing at the Aviation Flight Test Directorate in Alabama are expected to be completed by March 2014.

The US Navy conducted tests with ATJ fuel from Gevo in 2012, completing a successful test flight with an A-10 Thunder Bolt jet aircraft in June 2012.

By Matthew Donovan