Recent News

United Airlines announces a purchase stake in Fulcrum BioEnergy and details a long-term supply agreement for sustainable jet fuel

1 July 2015 - United Airlines today announced an historic $30 million equity investment in U.S.-based alternative fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a pioneer in the development and commercialization of converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. It is also the single largest investment by a U.S. airline in alternative fuels and sets United apart in the aviation industry in the advancement of aviation biofuels and carbon emissions reductions. In addition to the equity investment, United and Fulcrum have entered into an agreement that contemplates the joint development of up to five projects located near United's hubs expected to have the potential to produce up to 180 million gallons of fuel per year. Details can be found here and here.

Boeing Announces the inclusion of renewable fuel use in the ecoDemonstrator 757 testing program

1 July 2015 – Boeing announced the next phase of their ongoing ecoDemonstrator 757 testing of environmental improvement concepts for commercial aviation. The multi-phase ecoDemonstrator program aims to increase testing and use of technologies to improve environmental performance and reduce environmental impact across the airplane’s lifecycle by improving fuel efficiency, cutting carbon emissions, and recycling production materials.

On June 17, the ecoDemonstrator 757 flew from Seattle to Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA using jet fuel comprised of a blend of 95% petroleum-based jet fuel and 5% of a renewable blending component produced by Diamond Green Diesel. Boeing is working with industry partners to pursue within ASTM the approval of an expanded HEFA-SPK definition that will allow for inclusion of molecules from renewable diesel production processes. Diamond Green Diesel produced the blending component from animal fat waste, inedible corn oil, and used cooking oil, and estimates a reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions up to 80% less from petroleum jet fuel. The eventual approval of this fuel should result in wider availability of renewable jet fuel blends, as well as improving affordability versus petroleum-based Jet-A fuel.

The ecoDemonstrator 787 made the first flights with this "HEFA Plus" blending component in December 2014. Read full Biofuels International article here.

ARPA-E Announces 6 New Bioenergy Crop Projects

1 July 2015 – On June 18, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $30 million in funding for 6 bioenergy crop development projects as part of their Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) programs.

These projects will focus on enhancing several development processes for sorghum, a promising renewable biomass feedstock for transportation fuels. Expected innovations will accelerate the annual yield gains of traditional plant breeding, and support the discovery of new crop traits that improve water productivity and nutrient-use-efficiency needed to improve the sustainability of bioenergy crops. More detail can be found here.

This announcement was part of a news release detailing a larger overall effort for both novel combined-heat-and-power systems as well as biomass development found here.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and its fuel supplier, World Fuel Services Inc., ink sustainable jet fuel supply agreement

1 July 2015 — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and its fuel supplier, World Fuel Services Inc., recently finalized a three-year agreement that provides Gulfstream with a consistent supply of renewable fuels for its daily flight operations in Savannah.

The jet fuel to be provided will be a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, drop-in renewable fuel (HEFA-SPK) and Jet-A. It provides the same performance as conventional, petroleum-based jet fuel and requires no changes to factory-standard engines or aircraft. Each gallon of renewable fuel burned is expected to achieve a more than 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, relative to petroleum-based jet fuel, on a lifecycle basis. Find more info here.

Clark (BP), Sorena (Chevron), and Lodrigueza (Phillips66) gave a presentation titled “Co-processing of HEFA Feedstocks with Petroleum Hydrocarbons for Jet Production” for CAAFI R&D Team SOAP-Jet Webin

29 June 2015 – On June 19, 2015, Alisdair Clark of BP and Joseph Sorena of Chevron presented on “Co-processing of HEFA Feedstocks with Petroleum Hydrocarbons for Jet Production.” Enrico Lodrigueza of Phillips66 also contributed to the preparation of the material presented. Over 60 CAAFI member attended the webinar/teleconference. The presenters described their organizations’ research efforts to understand the potential for co-hydrotreating and co-hydrocracking of up to 5% of renewable biobased oils with middle distillates in existing refineries. Their research has included simulations and pilot studies for three bio-based oils and compared the resulting fuels to standard jet fuel with regard to ASTM specifications for jet fuel. They invited additional input into the ASTM task-force process.

The presentation can be downloaded here.
This presentation was the third in the SOAP-Jet webinar series on co-processing biofuels within existing biorefinery system and the applicability to aviation fuels.

The previous presentation by Ben Saydah of Sapphire Energy on “Co-Processing of Green Crude in Existing Petroleum Refineries” can be downloaded here.

The previous presentation by John Holladay of Pacific Northwest Research Laboratory on “Refinery Integration of Renewable Feedstocks” can be downloaded here.