Recent News

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.

Navy Fighter Jet Goes Supersonic Using Advanced Alternative Jet Fuel Derived from Renewable Alcohols

5 January 2015—The U.S. Navy and Gevo have conducted a test flight of an F/A-18 Hornet using a 50-50 alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) blend in supersonic afterburner operations at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Patuxent River, Md. Gevo produces isobutanol and then converts the alcohol to alternative jet fuel. It was the first comprehensive aviation test evaluating the performance of a 50-50 ATJ blend in supersonic afterburner operations and a necessary step in order for the fuel blend to be cleared for use in regular F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet operations. Read more here. and see Gevo’s press release here.

DOE Announces $7 Million Award for Two Projects Developing Advanced Logistics for Bioenergy Feedstocks

29 December 2014—Earlier this month, the Energy Department announced $7 million in funding was awarded to two projects focused on developing and demonstrating ways to reduce the cost of delivering bioenergy feedstocks to biorefineries. The State University of New York—College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the University of Tennessee will each receive $3.5 million to study how costs along the bioenergy feedstock supply chain could be lowered while increasing access to the available feedstocks. Read the announcement here.

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.

“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).