The director of the Bio-Economy Institute at Iowa State University says they’re ready to test an alternative fuel for jets. Robert Brown says I.S.U. has developed a new aviation fuel from bio-mass, but until gas prices go back up, he says there’s no company that would spent the money to build a facility to produce it.
"The one key factor is these are going to be very expensive plants to build, the capital costs are going to be very high. You will recover that capital if you’ve got a market for your product," Brown says. "But I’m not sure I want to be the one to put half a billion dollars into a facility that we might lose the market because the price of gasoline goes down."
Brown believes the aviation industry will demand an alternative fuel because of new restrictions in Europe. He says as countries attempt to cut use of fossil fuels to reduce their so-called "carbon footprint," the only way the aviation industry will survive will be to use jet fuel made from crop residue, grasses, or wood pulp.