There is increasing interest in biofuels not only to lessen dependency on foreign oil but also to promote sustainable fuels and the growth of a greener economy. ISTC’s researchers currently are exploring greener alternatives for fuels used in the automotive and aviation fields.
Progress is being made by them and others in using waste biomass, hard-to-recycle plastics, and other wastes for fuels. The NY Times recently reported that United Airlines is investing $30 million in Fulcrum Bioenergy to produce sustainable aviation biofuels. The airline says that it will use the biofuel (made from a mixture of farm waste, oils derived from animal fats, and traditional jet fuel) to power some of its regular passenger flights, making it the first domestic airline to do so. This will be an exciting project to continue to follow as more and more airlines follow suit.