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SECTION 2 What Are the Main Characteristics of Alternative Jet Fuels? This section discusses the main characteristics of alternative jet fuels. These characteristics include safety, feedstocks, production technologies, environmental and economic benefits, and the regulatory environment. 2.1 Safety and Drop-in Characteristics of Alternative Jet Fuels Are alternative jet fuels safe for use in airplanes and with other elements of the existing jet fuel infrastructure? Yes. For alternative jet fuels, safety and compatibility with existing aircraft, engines, and other elements of the jet fuel infrastructure are of critical importance. Current efforts to certify the use of alternative jet fuels are based on the principles that they meet or exceed the same safety crite- ria as conventional jet fuel and that they are 100% compatible with the existing jet fuel infra- structure. Who is responsible for setting the standards to certify conventional and alternative jet fuels? The specifications for jet fuel in the United States and around the world are established by standard-setting organizations such as ASTM International and the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence Standards (DEFSTAN). The role of the FAA and other safety organizations is to establish ground rules for the standard-setting organizations to use. Aircraft manufacturers, air- lines, and airports refer to the ASTM and DEFSTAN standards when designing, operating, and maintaining aircraft. What are drop-in alternative jet fuels? There is no formal definition of or standard for drop-in alternative jet fuels. Informally, a drop-in fuel is one that is fully interchangeable with petroleum-based fuels complying with ASTM or DEFSTAN standards. This drop-in interchangeability must be possible throughout the entire product distribution cycle--from refinery to aircraft. This includes the intermediary dis- tribution steps: pipelines, tank farms, and fuel trucks. By definition, drop-in alternative jet fuels can use the same infrastructure as conventional jet fuel, thus avoiding the need to build expen- sive duplicate infrastructure. Characteristics of drop-in alternative jet fuels must be equivalent to those of petroleum-based jet fuel (within the ranges established by standards for petroleum-based jet fuel). These charac- teristics include a number of elements such as safety (freeze point, flash point), performance (heating value and density), wear on fuel systems, and electrical conductivity. 8