Texas Alternative Fuels Council Awards Baylor $1 Million Grant

Sept. 16, 1996

WACO, Texas - In furthering its effort to promote the use of environmentally beneficial fuels, the Texas Alternative Fuels Council (TAFC) has awarded a grant to Baylor University's Renewable Aviation Fuels Development Center (RAFDC) to develop bio-based fuels for aircraft turbine engines and to research airborne pollution.

The TAFC grant, totaling more than $1 million, is sponsored by the Texas Natural Resource Conservative Commission (TNRCC), the State Energy Conservative Office and the General Services Commission.

Dr. Max Shauck, professor and chair of the aviation sciences department at Baylor, will serve as the project director. Shauck has been involved in atmosphere research for 20 years and has developed and promoted the use of ethanol as an aviation fuel for more than 15 years.

"This grant will allow our current research, which has been directed at furthering the use of ethanol as an aviation fuel, to expand significantly," Shauck said. "We also look forward to the opportunity to work with TNRCC to study transport and diffusion of air pollution in Texas."

As part of the research, the RAFDC will test various blends of alternative, renewable fuels with Jet-A fuel. The center will assemble a team, including aviation sciences students at Baylor, to monitor performance, economics and emissions of the various blends.

A portion of the grant has been used to purchase a twin turbo-prop aircraft. All of the seats and instruments on one side of the aircraft have been removed to make room for state-of-the-art instrumentation equipment which will monitor air pollution.

"We are very excited about the aircraft," Grazia Zanin, RAFDC director, said. "Once it is in operation, it will be one of the best instrumented air pollution monitoring aircraft in the United States, and the only one operating with a blend of alternative fuel."

In addition to Shauck, Dr. Patrick Odell, professor of mathematics at Baylor, will develop mathematical models to predict air pollution episodes.

For more information, contact the RAFDC at (817) 755-3563.

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