Recent News

Contract Awarded to Use Desert Plants and Seawater to Produce Jet Biofuel in UAE Pilot Project

19 February 2015—The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) have awarded a contract to Abu-Dhabi-based International Mechanical & Electrical Company (IMECO) to construct a bioenergy pilot project that will enable the production of sustainable aviation fuel in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The project is based on research by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to use seawater systems in desert or salinized/degraded land for the production of food, energy and other bioproducts. The concept uses the nutrient-rich wastewater from raising fish and shrimp (for human consumption) to fertilize oil-rich halophyte (saline tolerant) plants that can be harvested for renewable oil production. The goal of pilot project is to demonstrate the integrated bioenergy process as a commercially viable and sustainable system with respect to essential food and fuel production, suitable land use, reduced carbon emissions and wastewater clean-up. Read the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology news release here.

CAAFI R&D Team continues its SOAP-Jet webinar series on the co-processing of biofuels within existing refineries with a talk by Ben Saydah of Sapphire Energy

11 February 2015—On Friday, February 6th, the CAAFI R&D Team had its second presentation in the 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. Ben Saydah, Director of Conversion and Upgrading at Sapphire Energy, presented on, “Co-processing of Green Crude in Existing Petroleum Refineries”.

The presentation provided an overview of Sapphire Energy’s pilot scale algae hydrothermal liquefaction unit producing algae bio-crude oil. The presentation provided a summary of the co-processing work Sapphire has completed internally and with Baker Hughes and Phillips 66. This co-processing work included co-processing in refinery crude units, hydrotreating and fluid catalytic cracking and coking. The data have been used to rank the attractiveness of co-processing options and to generate the data required for application of EPA Part 79 certification.

The event was attended by approximately 80 people.

To access the slide deck from this SOAP-Jet webinar, follow:
Link to “Co-processing Green Crude in Existing Petroleum Refineries” 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 April and May of 2015. To learn more about the SOAP-Jet series or to share your ideas for future SOAP-Jet webinars, contact Kristin Lewis (

Aviation Biofuels Summit session, March 13th at the upcoming ABLC2015 Conference in D.C.

11 Feb 2015--CAAFI is collaborating with Biofuels Digest on a dedicated aviation-related session at the upcoming Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC2015) in Washington, D.C., March 11-13. The aviation-focused morning—The 6th ANNUAL AVIATION & MILITARY BIOFUELS SUMMIT—will take place on March 13. Two sessions will cover key aviation biofuel initiative progress, and provide information about recent commercialization efforts. To learn more about the agenda and registration, visit the ABLC2015 website.

Boeing, Embraer Open Joint Sustainable Aviation Biofuel Research Center in Brazil

2 February 2015—Last month, Boeing and Embraer opened a joint sustainable aviation biofuel research center in Brazil. This collaboration is led by Boeing Research and Technology-Brazil that works with Brazil’s research and development community to further establish the aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, helping to meet aviation’s environmental goals. The companies will coordinate and co-fund research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in creating a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, such as feedstock production, techno-economic analysis, economic viability studies and processing technologies. The Boeing-Embraer Joint Research Center is the latest in a series of collaborative efforts by Boeing, Embraer and Brazilian partners on sustainable aviation biofuel. Read Boeing’s full press release here.

Aviation Moves Closer to Using Alternative Fuels in Regular Flight Operations with Lufthansa Group Announcement

12 January 2015—The Lufthansa Group has announced a one year contract with the Norwegian oil company Statoil Aviation. Starting in March 2015, Statoil will provide 2.5 million gallons of certified biokerosene into the tanks at Oslo airport that will then be used to fuel Lufthansa Group’s aircraft. Oslo airport is the world’s first large commercial airport to offer a continuous provision of biofuel over a long period and to fuel aircraft with biofuel directly from its hydrant system. For the Lufthansa Group, this is the next step from its previous test flights toward the use of alternative fuels in regular flight operations. Read more 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).