Gevo achieves Army testing, UL approval milestones

By Anna Simet | December 24, 2013

The U.S. Army has successfully flown a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on a 50/50 blend of Gevo Inc.’s ATJ-8 renewable isobutanol, the company reported.

The flight marks the first-ever Army aircraft to fly on Gevo’s patented ATJ fuel, which is designed to be fully compliant with aviation fuel specifications and provide equal performance, including fit-for-purpose properties.

The testing is being performed as part of the previously announced contract with Gevo to supply more than 16,000 gallons to the U.S. Army., which is mandated to certify 100 percent of its air platforms on alternative/renewable fuels by 2016.

Flight testing is being conducted at Aviation Flight Test Directorate on Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and is anticipated to be complete by March 2014.

Gevo also confirmed this week that Underwriter Laboratories has approved the generic use of up to 16 percent isobutanol in UL 87A pumps by any manufacturer meeting ASTM specifications, providing all of the service stations across the country with the assurance that isobutanol blended gasoline will work in their current gasoline pumps without the need to purchase new equipment.

Gevo said it has been working with UL for several years to approve the use of isobutanol in UL 87A pumps. UL, in working with various companies and independent laboratories, compiled data for its scientific determination on isobutanol. Gevo sponsored a large study based on SAE J1681 and using a model created in a previous UL investigation with ethanol-surrogate gasoline fuel blends, according to the company.

"I am very pleased with what we have accomplished with UL. They are great organization to work with in the commercialization of isobutanol," said Glenn Johnston, Executive Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at Gevo. "This removes another hurdle in the commercialization of renewable isobutanol in on-road gasoline."