WSU Tri-Cities To Head New Federal Jet Bio-fuel Research Center
By Anna King
Washington State University will lead a new federal research center focused on finding new biofuels for jet airplanes. Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell made the announcement Friday at the university’s new science labs in the Tri-Cities.
Cantwell says WSU will work closely with the FAA, MIT near Boston and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The project, centered in Richland, will spend more than 40-million-dollars over 10 years. The goal: Finding sustainable aviation fuels at commercial scale. The increasing cost and volatility of jet fuel could be a drag on America’s airline industry, Cantwell says. She explains the Northwest is uniquely positioned to become the hub of this research on how to turn crops and forest products into biofuel.
Maria Cantwell: “We know a lot about feedstocks in general and we have major institutions in our state that research feedstock, we also have a lot of feedstock and we have an aviation industry.”
Work on the center will begin once the research projects have been identified in a few months.
Photo: Senator Maria Cantwell. By Anna King.