A Feedstock Readiness Level Tool to Complement the Aviation Industry Fuel Readiness Level Tool
First Online: 28 February 2012 DOI:
10.1007/s12155-012-9187-1 Cite this article as: Steiner, J.J., Lewis, K.C., Baumes, H.S. et al. Bioenerg. Res. (2012) 5: 492. doi:10.1007/s12155-012-9187-1 Abstract
The Feedstock Readiness Level (FSRL) tool was developed by the US Department of Agriculture, US Federal Aviation Administration, and Research and Innovative Technology Administration to describe the steps involved in bringing plant-based feedstocks to market for aviation biofuels production. A candidate feedstock is assigned a FSRL level from 1 through 9, indicating an increasing level of maturity towards commercialization. The FSRL level also communicates the state of development of a feedstock concurrent with its readiness for use with a conversion process. There are four components to the FSRL (production, market, policy, and linkage to conversion process), each with one to four tollgate descriptions per readiness level. The FSRL tool was structured to complement the Fuel Readiness Level (FRL) tool in use by the aviation industry as an internationally recognized communication best practice. Similarly, the FSRL can be used to identify gaps in any feedstock supply chain designed for any biofuel or conversion process that provides a market for feedstocks. This integrated feedstock and conversion technology approach can facilitate a coordinated allocation of resources to effectively plan for and develop a viable aviation biofuels industry.
Keywords Aviation Biofuel Feedstocks Technology Readiness Abbreviations CAAFI®
Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative®
Federal Aviation Administration
Fuel Readiness Level
Feedstock Readiness Level
Technology Readiness Level
United States Department of Agriculture
The use of trade firm or corporation names in this publication is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Agriculture, US Department of Transportation, the Agricultural Research Service, the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, or the Federal Aviation Administration of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.
Mankins JC (1995) Technology readiness levels, a white paper. www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codeq/trl/trl.pdf. April 6, 1995 edn. Advanced Concepts Office, Office of Space Access and Technology, NASA
ICAO (Presented by the United States) (2009) CAAF/09-WP/7: proposal to adopt a global fuel readiness level (FRL) protocol.
. Paper presented at the Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. October 16, 2009
ICAO Secretariat (2009) CAAFI/09-WP24-Rev: declaration and recommendations. Available at:
. Paper presented at the Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 16–18 November 2009
USDA (2010) News release no. 0545.10: Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces renewable energy initiative to spur rural revitalization throughout the country, new agreement with the FAA will promote production and demand for biofuels.
APHIS (2011) Plant import—importation of plants for planting (Quarantine 37). Fed Regist 76(103):31172–31210
USEPA (2011) Fuels and additives—fuels programs reporting registration.
Ellerbusch S (2011) President of BP Biofuels North America, speech in conference session “Leveraging existing industry infrastructure to support biofuel development”. Louisiana Energy Conference, June 22–23, 2011. New Orleans, LA
Summary of the National Environmental Policy Act 42 USC §4321 et seq (1969)
Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDi) (2008) Increasing feedstock production for biofuels—economic drivers, environmental implications, and the role of research. Vol. HD9502.5.B543. BRDB
Trostle R, Marti D, Rosen S, Westcott P (2011) Why have food prices risen again? A report of the Economic Research Service, USDA. www.ers.usda.gov. USDA ERS
Yazdani SS, Gonzalez R (2007) Anaerobic fermentation of glycerol: a path to economic viability for the biofuels industry. Curr Opin Biotechnol 18:213–219
Felix E, Cardona CA, Quintero JA (2010) Technical and economic viability of biofuel production chains. Environment and Natural Resources Management Working Paper 35: The BEFS analysis for Tanzania. Available at:
Perrin R, Vogel K, Schmer M, Mitchell R (2008) Farm-scale production cost of switchgrass for biomass. Bioenergy Res 1:91–97
Ross M (2011) New
Miscanthus development possible biomass game-changer? FarmWeek
Pearlson MN (2011) A techno-economic and environmental assessment of hydroprocessed renewable distillate fuels. Available at:
. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts
USDA-ERS (2011) Measuring the indirect land-use change associated with increased biofuel feedstock production. A review of modeling efforts.
Report to Congress
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012