It's not the formula you would prefer, but the military is testing an alternative fuel for B-52 bombers and other jet-powered aircraft.

The main goal is improving domestic sources for fuel and lowering costs, not helping the environment. The Air Force uses up to 3.2 billion gallons of aviation fuel a year, paying $3.50 per gallon. A B-52 from Minot AFB in North Dakota will make the first test flight out of Edwards AFB over the Southern California desert.

The alternative formula is based on a 50-50 blend of traditional petroleum JP-8 and synthetic JP-8 fuel made from gasifying coal. Tests in engines on the ground have already been completed. The first flights will have the synthetic cocktail in just two engines, eventually firing all eight with the mixture.

Although an engineer said that biomass could be gasified, there was no mention of testing the jet engines with a non-fossil-fuel formula.

[Source: Minot Daily News]


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