Building, testing and operating an experimental aircraft

SwiftFuel First Flight

03 Feb 2009

SwiftFuel is a bio-engineered replacement for 100 octane low-lead avgas (100LL) which is currently in development by a team of engineers from Purdue University. Due to its use of tetraethyl lead as a fuel additive, 100LL is scheduled to be phased out by the EPA. Leaded fuels have all but disappeared from automotive use, and avgas is soon to follow. A suitable replacement is needed.

The benefits of SwiftFuel look almost too good to be true, according to a recent article by PBS tech columnist Robert X. Cringely:

To your airplane SwiftFuel looks and tastes just like gasoline. It has an octane rating of 104 (higher than the 100 octane fuel it replaces) yet contains no lead or ethanol. SwiftFuel mixes with gasoline, can be stored in the same tanks as gasoline, and be shipped in the same pipelines as gasoline.

It is made entirely from biomass, which means it has a net zero carbon footprint and does nothing to increase global warming. Its emission of other polluting byproducts of burning gasoline are significantly lower, too. SwiftFuel has more energy per gallon than gasoline so your airplane (or your car) will go 15-20 percent further on each gallon.

To learn more about SwiftFuel, visit the Swift Enterprises website.

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