New Fuel Research Center Opens

Officials at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, on Monday christened the Air Force Research Lab’s new Assured Aerospace Fuels Research Facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. AFRL researchers, along with scientists from the University of Dayton and the Battelle Memorial Institute, will utilize the $5 million facility to investigate blends of synthetic jet fuel partially derived from coal, algae, and various animal- and plant-based biomass like beef tallow or switchgrass. The facility will enable the researchers to produce up to 15 to 20 gallons of synthetic fuel per day for testing, reported the Dayton Daily News. The Air Force uses roughly 2.5 billion gallons of jet fuel annually, accounting for roughly 10 percent of the US market. Service officials seek to reduce US dependence on foreign energy sources through USAF’s use of synthetic fuel blends. (See Thunderbirds Going Alternative.)