Recent News

Boeing and South African Airways Harvest Tobacco for Aviation Biofuel

21 May 2015 – South African farmers will be harvesting newly developed tobacco for use as a potential aviation biofuel source in a project called Solaris. Boeing, SAA, SkyNRG, and Sunchem SA formed a collaboration to launch Project Solaris to develop a nicotine-free tobacco plant for the fuel source. Initially, the tobacco seeds will be used to produce oil for conversion to jet fuel, and ultimately, the biomass in the stems and leaves may see use in cellulosic conversion processes.
Ian Cruickshank, Environmental Affairs Specialists of the SAA Group sees the initiative as providing jobs to thousands of South Africans, energy security to South Africa, and reduction in the carbon footprint from a reduction of carbon dioxide in the transition. If the project is a success for the test farming occurring in Limpopo, South Africa, Project Solaris is expected to expand to other countries in Africa. Read Boeing’s press release on the first harvest of the nicotine-free, energy-rich tobacco plant in South Africa’s Limpopo province here.

LightSpeed Solutions announces “The Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels"

13 May 2015 - LightSpeed Solutions and LightWorks at Arizona State University, in partnership with the Security and Sustainability Forum have announced a free four-session webinar series on the Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels. The goal of this four-part webinar series is to open up the conversation to more fuel production options, with a focus on what actions, in the 5 to 20 year time frame, might accelerate the transition toward sustainability, increase the economic efficiency of that transition, and minimize barriers that impede the transition or that make the transition more costly.

The first webinar on May 29th at 1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. EDT will focus on major themes relevant to the future of sustainable transportation fuels and set the stage for subsequent webinars. Registration for this webinar can be found here.

Subsequent webinars will examine opportunities for expanding system boundaries and trends that encapsulate arbitrage opportunities, economic deficiencies, and turning liabilities into assets and/or lower value to higher value fuels.

Check the Security and Sustainability Forum website for registration information on subsequent webinars.

GEVO Signs Agreement with Alaska Airlines for Renewable ATJ Fuel

8 May 2015 – Gevo, Inc. and Alaska Airlines have signed a strategic alliance agreement for the airline to purchase Gevo's renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) and fly the first-ever commercial flight with a blend of this fuel with standard jet fuel.

Senior Vice President of Alaska Airlines, Joe Sprague, aims for the integration to minimize their carbon footprint and support the growing demand for fuel alternatives. Alaska Airlines has previously shown support for biofuels by being the first U.S. airline to fly commercial flights using cooking oil in November 2011. The long term goal for Alaska Airlines is to have multiple airports using sustainable aviation biofuel by 2020. Read Gevo’s press release here., and Alaska Airlines' press release here.

Farmers Joining Research Studies for Alternative Jet Fuel

24 April 2015 – Farmers in North Dakota looking for a new oil seed to add to their rotation have planted Brassica carinata, a potential feedstock for the ASTM-approved HEFA process to make alternative jet fuel. Agrisoma Biosciences, a Canadian seed producer, collaborated with North Dakota farmers to plant 4,000 acres of B. carinata. Within three days, they had exceeded this goal and formed a new goal of to plant 6,000 acres of the oil crop.
Christine Bliss of the University of Florida introduced B. carinata to farmers as similar to other oil crops, but with the advantage of producing more and better quality oil with high amino acid content. Outputs from North Dakota will contribute toward Agrisoma Biosciences’ goal for a yield of 50,000 acres.
Read about this and other alternative feedstock efforts here.

Biofuel Progress Highlighted at ABLC 2015

21 April 2015 – Biofuels Digest highlights a CAAFI slide as one of the 11 hottest from the 2015 Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) in Washington, DC in a recent article. The conference included presentations on biofuel technology progress from numerous groups in the aviation industry. CAAFI was distinguished for using a “development of all feedstock” approach depicted in the selected slide. See the slide and read the full article here.

2015 CAAFI R&D Team Meeting a Success

26 March 2015—On March 9 and 10, CAAFI® held its Research and Development (R&D) Team meeting in Alexandria, VA. The workshop’s primary activity focused on identifying critical R&D challenges facing the alternative jet fuel community. The team identified nearly 40 industry-wide key R&D challenges. The first day also included a progress review of recent activities of the R&D Team, CAAFI in general, and public-private-partnership efforts (e.g. the Farm –to-Fly 2.0 program) as well as a discussion of available R&D funding sources. Day 2 consisted of an overlapping alternative jet fuel research overview session with the Advisory Group of the FAA-funded Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT) Center of Excellence, focusing on the National Jet Fuel Combustion Program and the ASCENT Supply Chain Development project.
The CAAFI R&D team received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants on the collaborative format. For a fact sheet summarizing the meeting click here.