Recent News

CAAFI R&D Team kicks off its second SOAP-Jet webinar series focusing on the co-processing of biofuels within existing refinery systems

17 November 2014-- On Friday, November 14th, the CAAFI R&D Team kicked off its second Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum – Jet (SOAP-Jet) webinar series, focusing on the co-processing of biofuels within existing refinery systems, with an emphasis on the applicability of this approach to producing aviation biofuels. John Holladay of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory presented on, “Refinery Integration of Renewable Feedstocks”.

The presentation provided an overview of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) investment in this sphere, the efforts of the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium to include new modeling tools for assessing the value of bio-derived streams in petroleum refineries, and technology advances from PNNL for converting highly oxygenated bio-derived streams into hydrocarbon fuels which cover the range of gasoline, jet and diesel fuel.

The event was attended by over 90 people.

To access the slide deck from this SOAP-Jet webinar, follow:
Link to “Refinery Integration of Renewable Feedstocks” SOAP-Jet webinar.

The webinar series is intended to provide a forum for information sharing and member participation in cutting edge R&D topics related to alternative jet fuels. Additional presentations will be scheduled for the first half of 2015. To learn more about the SOAP-Jet series or to share your ideas for future SOAP-Jet webinars, contact Kristin Lewis (

Boeing-COMAC Partnership Converting Cooking Oil to Jet Fuel to Evaluate Large Scale Potential

6 November 2014—Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) have partnered on a demonstration facility to convert waste cooking oil into jet fuel in Hangzhou, China. This project, the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project, is expected to assess the feasibility and cost of producing a high volume of sustainable aviation biofuel to meet the increasing demand for air travel by a growing Chinese population while meeting the industry’s carbon emissions reduction goal. The partnership anticipates that the fuel produced from the pilot facility will meet the hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) Annex of the ASTM Specification D7566 for alternative jet fuels, which has already been internationally approved and used in commercial flights. The companies are estimating that up to 500 million gallons of sustainable jet fuel could be produced annually from waste cooking oil in China. Read Boeing’s press release on the project here.

Southwest Airlines Announces Purchase Agreement with Red Rock Biofuels

24 September 2014—Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, a CAAFI member, has announced today an agreement with Red Rock Biofuels to annually purchase three million gallons of alternative jet fuel made from woody biomass. It is expected that the low-carbon renewable fuel will be incorporated as a blend with conventional jet fuel in Southwest’s airplanes originating from San Francisco airports starting in 2016. This announcement demonstrates the continued engagement of the airlines in facilitating the development and commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuel. It is also another clear example of the work being undertaken by the aviation enterprise, behind the scenes, to develop supply-chains and stimulate cost-effective fuel production, from a broad range of renewable resources, and from a variety of producers and regions. Read more here.

DPA Title III Phase 2 Awards Announced: $210 M for 100 M annual gallons of Military Spec Biofuels

22 September 2014 –The United States Navy, DOE and USDA announced today their award of $210 million targeting the annual production of 100 million gallons of drop-in biofuels. The funding was made possible under the Defense Production Act (DPA) and given to Emerald Biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy and Red Rock Bio. This award signifies the continuation of the DPA’s Biofuels Production Project that was first announced in 2012. The companies will use the funds to build three biorefineries with the capacity to annually produce 100 million gallons of military-spec jet fuel and marine diesel—much more than the DPA’s initial funding announcement indicating the goal of building a 10 million gallon biorefinery. The 100 million gallons of biofuel is expected to reduce emissions by 50 percent, cost the U.S. military $3.50 or less per gallon--competitive with petroleum-based fuels -- and be available as soon as 2016. Read more about the DoD’s latest commitment to drop-in biofuels here.

CAAFI Pointed to as Model Initiative to Facilitate UK's Long-Term Goals for Sustainable Aviation Fuels

9 September 2014—The industry group Sustainable Aviation has published Sustainable Aviation Fuels – Fuelling the Future, a discussion paper, stating they are now confident that sustainable, carbon neutral fuels have the potential to cut UK aviation carbon emissions more than previously thought. According to Sustainable Aviation, airlines have taken significant steps to utilize alternative fuels to help cut emissions, but industry stakeholders believe the investment needed to achieve significant alternative fuel usage will only come to fruition if the government moves to reduce investor risk by actively supporting technology development. The report notes that right now, the available alternative aviation fuels cost more than fossil fuels. As a result, the group is calling on the government to communicate long-term goals for sustainable aviation fuels, and establish programs to assist the sector with achieving their goals. The group suggests a public-private sector task force modelled on CAAFI to develop such a plan.
Read the full paper here.

“Take a Closer Look”

1 July 2014--An American science journal, Environmental Science and Technology, recently published a Perspective article by a biofuels working group entitled, “Take a Closer Look: Biofuels Can Support Environmental, Economic and Social Goals.” The working group, which included CAAFI Executive Director, Steve Csonka, was pulled together by University of Minnesota and Michigan State University researchers to outline potential next steps for working biofuel challenges within industry and academia. The article primarily focuses on ground transport, but as a result of Steve’s engagement, includes supplemental material that provides an overview of the breadth of aviation’s substantial efforts with the development of alternative fuels, as well as discussing why the industry’s effort should be viewed in a unique light, and supported. Read the article and the supplement.

ASTM Approves Synthesized Iso-Paraffins (SIP) as a blending component for Drop-In Alternative Jet Fuel

19 June 2014--Today, ASTM International announced the addition of a third fuel annex to ASTM D-7566 “Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons.“ This revision will permit use of Synthesized Iso-Paraffins (SIP) produced from hydroprocessed fermented sugars as a jet fuel blending stock (see ASTM press release) at 10% maximum blend levels. The approval is another milestone for the aviation community and expands the options for procuring and using alternative jet fuels. Prior to the SIP approval, annexes had been approved for Hydroproccessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA-SPK) and Fischer-Tropsch (FTH-SPK) synthetic fuel blends. Amyris and TOTAL are especially pleased about the new revision, which will enable the companies to ramp up production of their new drop-in aviation fuel (see Amyris and TOTAL press release).