BioEnergy Research

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 492–503 | Cite as

A Feedstock Readiness Level Tool to Complement the Aviation Industry Fuel Readiness Level Tool

  • Jeffrey J. Steiner
  • Kristin C. Lewis
  • Harry S. Baumes
  • Nathan L. Brown


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.


Aviation Biofuel Feedstocks Technology Readiness 



Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative®


Federal Aviation Administration


Fuel Readiness Level


Feedstock Readiness Level


Technology Readiness Level


United States Department of Agriculture



Thanks to Marty Bradley—Boeing, Mike Epstein—General Electric, and Stephen Kramer—Pratt & Whitney for recognizing the need to understand the role feedstocks have in achieving alternative fuel production goals and for assisting in the preliminary conceptualization of the Feedstock Readiness Level tool. Thanks also to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Randy Babbitt for bringing together their agencies to help accelerate the development of alternative biobased jet fuels for commercial and military aviation use.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey J. Steiner
    • 1
  • Kristin C. Lewis
    • 2
  • Harry S. Baumes
    • 3
  • Nathan L. Brown
    • 4
  1. 1.USDA Agricultural Research ServiceOffice of National ProgramsBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems CenterResearch and Innovative Technology Administration, US Department of TransportationCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.USDA Office of the Chief EconomistOffice of Energy Policy and New UsesWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Office of Environment and Energy, Federal Aviation AdministrationUS Department of TransportationWashingtonUSA

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