To enhance further GKI’S development of the ALT 100 ethanol project for jet bio fuel ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5—the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons—to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK).

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ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5—the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons—to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 clears the way for increased adoption of sustainable aviation fuels because ethanol feedstocks can be made from so many different low-cost sources. Behind this significant advancement is the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory technology—eight years in the making—and its industrial partner, LanzaTech.

Using its expertise in chemistry and catalysis, PNNL developed a unique thermocatalytic process for converting ethanol into ATJ-SPK. The first step of the process is to convert the ethanol into ethylene (“dehydration”). During the second step (“oligomerization”), ethylene molecules are chemically combined to build the range of hydrocarbon molecules needed for aviation fuel. These hydrocarbons are then hydrogenated, followed by fractionation to produce alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene with the desired properties. The process can use ethanol from any source, including ethanol produced via LanzaTech’s proprietary gas-to-ethanol process.

Fit-for-purpose properties required by ASTM D4054, the Standard Practice for Qualification and Approval of New Aviation Turbine Fuels and Fuel Additives. Following this review, a ballot was submitted to the ASTM membership to approve the addition of ethanol as a feedstock in ASTM D7566 Annex A5, which passed on April 1 of this year. A second ballot also passed, increasing the blend ratio of ATJ-SPK to 50 percent from 30 percent. As a result, sustainable aviation fuel produced from ethanol using an alcohol-to-jet process can be used by commercial airlines in up to 50 percent blends with conventional jet fuel.

“Commercial airlines consume a lot of fuel, and it is a major contributor to their costs. Sustainable aviation fuel offers airlines another option, which has benefits for the environment and offers a hedge against swings in oil prices” 

ASTM International develops standards across the globe for a variety of industries, including aviation. Its standards are used by businesses and governments to ensure a high degree of performance.

1. Scope

1.1 This specification covers the manufacture of aviation turbine fuel that consists of conventional and synthetic blending components.

1.2 This specification applies only at the point of batch origination, as follows:

1.2.1 Aviation turbine fuel manufactured, certified, and released to all the requirements of Table 1 of this specification (D7566), meets the requirements of Specification D1655 and shall be regarded as Specification D1655 turbine fuel. Duplicate testing is not necessary; the same data may be used for both D7566 and D1655 compliance. Once the fuel is released to this specification (D7566) the unique requirements of this specification are no longer applicable: any recertification shall be done in accordance with Table 1 of Specification D1655.

1.2.2 Field blending of synthesized paraffinic kerosine (SPK) blendstocks, as described in Annex A1 (FT SPK), Annex A2 (HEFA SPK), Annex A3 (SIP), Annex A4 synthesized paraffinic kerosine plus aromatics (SPK/A), or Annex A5 (ATJ) with D1655 fuel (which may on the whole or in part have originated as D7566 fuel) shall be considered batch origination in which case all of the requirements of Table 1 of this specification (D7566) apply and shall be evaluated. Short form conformance test programs commonly used to ensure transportation quality are not sufficient. The fuel shall be regarded as D1655 turbine fuel after certification and release as described in 1.2.1.

1.2.3 Once a fuel is redesignated as D1655 aviation turbine fuel, it can be handled in the same fashion as the equivalent refined D1655aviation turbine fuel.

1.3 This specification defines the minimum property requirements for aviation turbine fuel that contain synthesized hydrocarbons and lists acceptable additives for use in civil operated engines and aircrafts. Specification D7566 is directed at civil applications, and maintained as such, but may be adopted for military, government, or other specialized uses.

1.4 This specification can be used as a standard in describing the quality of aviation turbine fuel from production to the aircraft. However, this specification does not define the quality assurance testing and procedures necessary to ensure that fuel in the distribution system continues to comply with this specification after batch certification. Such procedures are defined elsewhere, for example in ICAO 9977, EI/JIG Standard 1530, JIG 1, JIG 2, API 1543, API 1595, and ATA-103.

1.5 This specification does not include all fuels satisfactory for aviation turbine engines. Certain equipment or conditions of use may permit a wider, or require a narrower, range of characteristics than is shown by this specification.

1.6 While aviation turbine fuels defined by Table 1 of this specification can be used in applications other than aviation turbine engines, requirements for such other applications have not been considered in the development of this specification.

1.7 Synthetic blending components, synthetic fuels, and blends of synthetic fuels with conventional petroleum-derived fuels in this specification have been evaluated and approved in accordance with the principles established in Practice D4054.

1.8 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.