Dr Alan H Epstein, vice president technology and environment at Pratt & Witney, told Businessgreen.com that the company was confident that the industry's efforts to develop biofuels were on track to attain the official certification new fuels require to be used commercially during 2011.Of course, agreeing on a formulation says nothing about commercial scale production, price competitiveness (for a commodity fuel) or global distribution, each of which could take years to achieve.
"We want to certify a biofuel by 2011 and we have an agreement to share results with GE and Boeing," he said. "Between us we make 98 per cent of the engine market and we genuinely are working as a team on this to get the engines certified for using biofuel. We think that is a realistic timescale."
Still, I will be the first to admit that perhaps I have been too skeptical of jet biofuels — as long as they’re made from jatropha or algae or some other scalable crop, rather than coconut oil as used in the earliest PR stunt.