Renewable Fuel For Flights

Posted on 20/12/2010
Compact Contractors for America (CCA) has developed a dry process biofuel from algae which the company hopes will power military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles such as Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk in the not too distant future. CCA’s founder and President, Robert Fulton, explains to Renewable Energy Magazine why his company’s new biofuel is as a serious contender for JP-8 replacement in military aircraft.

It is an exciting time for CCA. The Southern Utah-based company will shortly announce an IPO opportunity, and is in talks with potential clients such as Northrop/Grumman, Boeing and the US Department of Defence; all of which are interested in an effective, low cost, and ecologically sound replacement for petro-chemical based aviation fuels. Indeed, in August of this year, CCA announced that it had made the first sale of its aviation fuel to the United States Air Force Research Laboratory for further testing.

CCA’s dry process biofuels is essentially a powder that can be fluidized and combusted in jet turbine engines. The company claims its Turbine Bio Fuel could revolutionise modern flight, be used as a fuel in the shipping industry, and even power space rockets, all the while helping protect the environment by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our view is that algae has a high potential for use as a “bio scrubber” of emissions from a variety of sources,” explains Fulton. “As a replacement for jet fuel, no mercury, no lead, and little sulphur are released. Turbine Bio Fuel is not offered as an ‘End All’ solution, [however]… it constitutes a solution that can be used today, with verifiable results and advantages.”

Fulton believes “we are at the beginning of a renaissance in fuel technology, with biofuel development at the core” and envisages his company being at the forefront of this revolution. However, he is realistic about the challenge ahead.

“The US government and other governments around the world have invested in biomass research huge sums of money. Currently, powdered fuel is a quandary for most investors and government agencies. Their ‘crystal ball’ is cloudy,” says Fulton. “It is up to CCA and its developers to rigorously pursue funding. It is incumbent upon us to assiduously use that funding to prove commercial viability and more importantly, profitability of Turbine Bio Fuel.”