NASA Tests Alternative Aviation Fuel

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NASA is testing alternative aviation fuels using a DC-8. Photo: NASA Dryden/Tom Tschida

NASA’s Alternative Aviation Fuel Experiment II is underway as scientists and researchers from 17 different organizations test a fuel called Hydrotreated Renewable Jet Fuel.

What makes it renewable? Chicken fat.

The team is measuring essential gaseous and particulate emissions data from a DC-8 for the chicken-fat fuel, and for a 50-50 mix of biofuel and regular jet fuel and jet fuel only. NASA has been researching alternative aviation fuels since 2009 with the hopes of reducing the impact of flight on the environment and reduction America’s dependency on foreign oil.

If experiments go well, there’s a likely crossover with the U.S. military, which has already pledged to using 50 percent biofuel in its aircraft.

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