The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $1.1 million contract to Honeywell’s UOP LLC, Des Plaines, Ill., to develop and demonstrate technology that will produce renewable jet fuel from alcohols found in natural feedstocks. Under the contract, UOP will produce renewable jet fuel from a type of alcohol called isobutanol. The alcohol, to be supplied by biofuel company Gevo, headquartered in Englewood, Colo., can be produced from a variety of starch and sugar feedstocks, including corn. In the future, inedible sources, such as corn stover, bagasse and wood residues, also could be used as feedstocks.

The contract supports U.S. government efforts to identify and accelerate the commercial availability of next-generation, non-fossil jet fuel. Isobutanol-derived biofuels coould offer new renewable sources for jet fuel production beyond the natural oils and biomass materials that have been introduced for commercial and military flight in the last several years.

“The development of new second-generation biofeedstock conversion technology is critical to support growing energy needs and speed commercial availability,” says Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager for renewable energy and chemicals at UOP.

UOP says it will deliver 100 gallons of renewable jet fuel derived from isobutanol to the government in 2012.