Here's an article from Aerospace Engineering & Manufacturing:
I'll summarize it:
This article highlights activities to produce alternative-source jet
fuel. First it highlights a facility being constructed in England, then
talks about future facilities in the US. Opening near London in 2014,
selling exclusively to British Airways, a plant built by the Solena
Group will convert 500,000 t of waste (municipal garbage, I believe) per
year into 16 million gal of green jet fuel. It will use a 5000 degree
Celsius plasma arc to turn the biomass and plastics into syngas and then
kerosene (jet fuel) using a Fischer Tropsch process. It claims 95%
carbon savings compared to fossil kerosene.
Solena claims algae can replace the garbage in the plasma gasification
process. However, they do not give any details. The syngas could be used
either to run a turbine for power generation or used in a Fischer
Tropsch process to produce diesel fuel or kerosene.
Also the article summarizes efforts in the United States, specifically
talking about the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative
(CAAFI). CAAFI’s goal is to pave the way so that about 10 functional
biofuel plants will be in process in the U.S. by the year 2013. Typical
volume at those plants would be about 6500 barrels/day, which would be
able to supply about 1.5% of the total U.S. aviation fuel supply (120
billion gal a year). Their “real goal” is achieving carbon-neutral
growth for aviation in 2020. On a side note, at least one of these
planned plants (in Mississippi) will be using coal as the input...
Food for thought:
Alternative fuels for automobiles and electrical production is
essential, but how will we run airplanes and helicopters (economically)
when fossil jet fuel production starts dropping?