Recent News

Amyris’ Renewable Jet Fuel Approved by ANP in Brazil


19 December 2014—The National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP), Brazil’s fuels regulator, has given regulatory approval to Amyris’ farnesane jet fuel. This builds on the ASTM International standard for aviation fuel that was revised this past June and removes the regulatory hurdle for the commercialization of Amyris’ renewable jet fuel in blends of up to 10 percent in Brazil. A recently released report concluded that Amyris’ farnesane has an emission reduction of 90% on a lifecycle basis when compared with conventional fossil fuels. Read Amyris’ press release here.

Boeing Launches First Flight Using Renewable Diesel as a Jet Fuel Blending Component


11 December 2014—Last week, Boeing launched the first test-flight of a commercial aircraft using a jet fuel blended with sustainable, renewable diesel made from vegetable oils, cooking oil and fat. This flight, part of Boeing’s broader ecoDemonstator program, illustrates the aviation enterprise’s continued progress toward making low-carbon, synthetic jet fuels available for widespread use in the near term. The renewable diesel, made by Neste Oils Inc., was used in one engine of a Boeing 787 aircraft as a 15 percent blend with conventional jet fuel. According to Boeing, the flight encountered no issues and the plane operated just as it would have under normal conditions using only conventional jet fuel. A renewable diesel concept must still be defined and then pass the ASTM-International qualification process before being used in-service. However, there is substantial interest in using renewable diesel as a jet fuel blending component because it is already being produced commercially on a large-scale around the world and is expected to be cost competitive with conventional jet fuel. The renewable diesel blending concept joins the approximately half dozen potential alternative jet fuel candidates currently under consideration for ASTM approval in the next few years.
Read more about Boeing’ flight here.

Vertimass Awarded $2 M Grant from DOE to Commercialize Technology that Converts Ethanol to Jet Fuel Blend Stocks


3 December 2014—On Monday, Vertimass announced that they have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy of up to $2 million. The grant was awarded to aid the company’s work to improve and demonstrate catalyst technologies that provide commercially viable and sustainable transportation fuels that are compatible with the current transportation infrastructure. Vertimass, with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is focused on more efficiently converting ethanol into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel blend stocks. The technology could also expand opportunities to convert additional quantities of ethanol produced from diverse conversion technologies and feedstocks, including plant sugars (sweet sorghum, sugar beet, cane), and cellulosic biomass, in addition to corn starch. To read more click here.

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 (Kristin.Lewis@dot.gov).

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.

“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).