Looking to amplify its efforts to establish supply chains for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) across the U.S., the FAA last week awarded more than $1.4 million in research funds to five universities—Washington State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Tennessee, University of Hawaii, and Purdue University. Each university will concentrate its efforts in a specific area, ranging from understanding land-use impacts of SAF to the retrofitting of existing agri-business mills and petroleum refineries to use forest byproducts and other waste materials in producing SAF to evaluating supply chains.
The grants range from $100,000 to $450,000 and are part of an ongoing research project that has thus far awarded $14.4 million to 13 universities to undertake the research necessary to expand SAF production, as well as spur the nascent hydrogen fuel industry. They come following the Biden administration's unveiling of its Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge earlier this year, aimed at boosting the production of SAF to at least three billion gallons annually by 2030.
“Sustainable aviation fuels are a critical part of meeting our climate goals for aviation, and we want to help that industry grow and create jobs right here in the U.S.,” said U.S. transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These funds will help build regional supply chains so that communities across our country—many of them rural—feel the economic benefits of producing sustainable aviation fuel.”