GE Aviation signs purchase agreement for biojet

By Erin Voegele | November 12, 2013

GE Aviation recently announced it has signed a 10-year agreement to purchase 500,000 gallons or more of cellulosic synthetic biofuel annually from Washington, D.C.-based D’Arcinoff Group, beginning in 2016. The fuel will be used for production and development testing in GE jet engines at the company’s main jet engine testing facility in Peebles, Ohio. According to information released by GE Aviation, options are in place to order up to 10 million gallons per year of the fuel.

"Developing alternative sources for jet fuel is fundamentally good for the aviation industry and the environment," said Mike Epstein, chief technologist leading the alternative fuels efforts at GE Aviation. "This collaboration enables GE Aviation to further its experience with alternative biofuels in our engines, and foster the development of a fuel source which has great potential."

GE Aviation said it communes more than 10 million gallons of jet fuel annually at its engine testing centers. Since 2007, the company has partnered with several government entities and airlines around the world to demonstrate alternative fuels in its engines, through both ground tests and full-fledged aircraft flight demonstrations.

According to GE Aviation, the cost for the biofuel will be comparable to traditional jet fuel. The cellulosic fuel will produced at the proposed D’Arcinoff Group Energy Program facility, located in Hudspeth County, Texas. The D’Arcinoff Group announced the project earlier this year. It is currently expected to be operational in early 2016.

In March, the D’Arcinoff Group and its consortium partners announced to develop the integrated synthetic fuel, power generation and distribution project. At that time, the company said the project “will harness the carbon emissions from electric power generation and integrate them with renewable energy resources to produce drop-in, low emission transportation fuels.” D’Arcinoff Group’s website specifies the technology uses cellulosic biomass, natural gas and water electrolysis generated feedstock.