Well, several years after the Air Force certified the C-17 to fly on coal-based synthetic jet fuel, it's gone and certified the cargo hauler to fly on biofuel. In fact, the Globemaster III is the first Air Force plane to be cleared to fly using "hydroprocessed blended biofuels known as hydrotreated renewable jet fuels" mixed with standard JP-8 jet gas. This comes just under a year after the Navy cleared the F/A-18EF Super Hornet to fly using biofuel.
This certification is part of an effort to find an alternative fuel source for all Air Force planes that emits fewer greenhouse gasses than JP-8. The service plans to have the entire fleet of aircraft certified to fly on a50-50 mix of biofuel and JP-8 within the next 22 months.
In the last decade, the Air Force certified its fleet to fly using the so called, coal-to-liquids fuels. However, the service abandoned efforts to use coal-based blends operationally after questions arose over how environmentally friendly any fuel based on coal can really be.
Government agencies are barred from using any alternative fuels that emit greenhouse gasses than standard petroleum-based fuels.
Among the many objectives of the Pentagon's efforts to operate its vehicle fleets on alternative fuels is to wean the DoD from its dependence on foreign oil.