May 2011 Issue
100-Octane Cost Data: Sharpening the Pencil
For Swift, holding the pump price down will hinge on finding cheap acetone. GAMIís G100 may be cheaper, but will oil companies balk at a proprietary formula?
The two leading contenders to replace 100LL with an unleaded equivalent, Swift Enterprisesí Swift Fuel and General Aviation Modification Inc.ís G100UL, both say their fuel will cost more than 100LL. But how much more? We took our own run at it based on what weíve been able to glean about these fuels from patent filings and information from the two companies. According to its patent filings and published FAA test data, Swift is a binary blend of mesitylene (also known as trimethylbenzene) and isopentane. Mesitylene is a bit of an exotic, used for specialized solvents and industrial processes. Itís a terrific octane enhancer, but so rare in industy that no commodity prices are available. One supplier we contacted sells it for $53 a gallon, a price thatís obviously unsustainable for fuel use.
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