Date of Defense




First Advisor

Gil Sinclair, Aviation

Second Advisor

Martin Grant, Aviation


Aviation has come a long way over the past century, but the largest challenge may still lie ahead. The planet is running out of the one thing an airplane needs to stay in flight: fuel. Fossil fuels are the only resource being used to power aircraft at a higher level than a testing phase. With scholars, scientists, geologists, and politicians all differing on how long non-renewable resources will last, they all understand that at some point those resources will be extinguished. This report is based on the idea that another form of renewable fuel can be used for aviation without encountering extremely high costs, complicated refining procedures, or difficult fuel system change-overs. Multiple fuels are currently being explored: hydrogen cells, ethanol, natural gas, and Fischer-Tropsch Kerosene. The primary focus of this paper is the Fischer-Tropsch process, its costs, and its products.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only