Environmental Cost-benefit Analysis of Alternative Jet Fuels

Archive Project
Environmental Cost-benefit Analysis of Alternative Jet Fuels

Focus Areas: 

  • Energy
  • Climate Policy

Alternative jet fuels hold the promise of energy supply diversification in the face of rising oil prices. In addition, alternative fuels may reduce environmental impact from aviation-related combustion emissions. The focus of Project 28 is on the creation and use of an aviation-specific life-cycle analysis framework to assess the alternative fuel environmental impacts from "well-to-wake", building on existing well-to-tank and tank-to-wake methodologies. Analyses will include examining traditional kerosene fuels from conventional and unconventional petroleum resources; hydrocarbon fuels derived from fossil fuels such as oil sands and oil shale; synthetic liquid fuels manufactured from coal, biomass, or natural gas; and hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel made from renewable oil resources such as algae and halophytes.

The evaluation will include the full chain of use, from initial energy harvesting/resource extraction, to production and transportation, to use by the aviation industry, to end-of-use and disposal issues. Project 28 will consider health, welfare, and ecological impacts, including effects related to changes in non-renewable resource use, air quality, and global climate change. This work is expanding upon PARTNER Project 17 (resulting in a PARTNER-RAND alternative fuels report) that studies the economic and policy aspects of adopting alternative jet fuels.

Funding Sources

Project Leaders

Aero-Astro; Joint Program
Administration, Faculty
MIT Energy Initiative; Joint Program