Ministry of Industry and Trade will spend over 600 million rubles on development of alternative fuels for civil aviation, Izvestiya reports.
The ministry has already issued a tender on studying the “aspects of using gas fuels on the civil aircraft”, stated in the materials posted on the website dedicated to state procurements. The ministry will spend 628 million rubles on the studies. Ministry of Industry and Trade also proposes “development of aircraft able to use cryogenic fuels and biofuels”. It is also planned to study the possibilities of using solar energy, super-high frequency and laser radiation.
The main contractor for this state order should be defined in March. The results of the studies and economic assessments of the projects should be presented in 2015. Then the calculations will be handed over to the airlines. However, Ministry of Industry and Trade did not specify the list of these airlines.
Press-service of United Engine Corporation noted that the studies in the area of alternative fuels are underway; however, the specialists have doubts if the engine performance would remain the same while using biofuel instead of kerosene.
Tupolev design bureau carried out studies in the area of alternative fuels in 1980s. «We still have a Tu-155 flying testbed, which used liquefied natural gas and hydrogen, — head of the marketing division fo Tupolev Company, Andrey Tupolev, said. — At present these studies are irrelevant. The usage of alternative fuels requires a lot of additional equipment and creation of corresponding infrastructure. In addition, hydrogen and natural gas are highly explosive».
The usage of solar energy is not suitable for long-haul aircraft with a take-off weight of over 100 tons, Andrey Tupolev says. At that he noted that the company is ready to develop a biofuel providing that there is a state financing backing.