The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.
Results from an internal EU study on biofuels, recently leaked to the media, are casting a dark shadow over biofuels. Focused on biodiesel, used in far greater volumes in Europe due to the popularity of efficient diesel-powered vehicles, the report has biofuel supporters in a near state of panic.
According to this report from Reuters, “Europe’s world-leading $13 billion biodiesel industry, which has boomed in the wake of a decision by Brussels policymakers in 2003 to promote it, is now on the verge of being legislated out of existence after the studies revealed biodiesel’s indirect impact cancels out most of its benefits. ‘This study would pave the way for the demise of the European biodiesel sector,” Philippe Tillous-Borde, chief of French oilseed giant Sofiproteol, which owns Europe’s largest biodiesel producer, told Reuters.”
This news is relevant to aviation since biodiesel is similar in most respects to biofuel replacements for Jet-A which have been touted recently in numerous media reports. One expects similar studies to question the net environmental advantage of bio-based jet fuel, the only compelling reason to pursue a fuel that is not currently financially viable without massive taxpayer subsidies and production mandates, as is the case for ethanol.