Recent News

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.

CAAFI Welcomes DOE to Farm to Fly 2.0

15 August 2014--At the recent BIOMASS 2014 conference, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson of the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that DOE will join Farm to Fly 2.0, the second phase of an ongoing effort initiated by CAAFI and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promote the deployment and use of homegrown drop-in alternative aviation fuels. DOE has a longstanding interest in the development of biofuels and other alternative fuels, and their participation in Farm to Fly 2.0 further solidifies that interest and support. Their commitment to Farm to Fly 2.0 greatly strengthens the alternative aviation fuel initiative. Read more about the recent announcement on the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy blog.

GOL First to Fly Commercially on Amyris-Total Jet Fuel

8 August 2014--Last week on July 30, 2014, Brazilian airline, GOL, made the first commercial flight with the newly ASTM-certified, Amyris-Total alternative aviation fuel. GOL’s Boeing 737 flew from Orlando, Florida to Sao Paulo, Brazil with a blend of Amyris-Total’s farnesane, which can improve local air quality near airports and cities by reducing particulate matter emissions. Additionally, farnesane can achieve an 80% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction relative to petroleum fuels. At this time, farnesane can be blended up to 10% with conventional jet fuel. For more information about the flight, see the press release and video on Amyris’ website.

CAAFI Welcomes Two New Team Leads

24 July 2014--CAAFI welcomes Rob Myrben (A4A - Airlines for America) as co-chair of the CAAFI Business Team, and Gurhan Andac (GE Aviation) as tri-chair of the CAAFI R&D Team (see their bios on the Leadership page). CAAFI would like to thank the departing R&D Team tri-chair lead Mike Epstein of GE Aviation for all his contributions over the past several years. CAAFI is also thankful to John Heimlich, Vice President and Chief Economist at A4A, for co-chairing the Business Team for the past two years. John continues to recognize the growing importance of airline engagement in the alternative fuels space, and was key in creating the new role at A4A (Senior Managing Director – Fuel Optimization) that enables Rob Myrben to provide enhanced focus and leadership to the CAAFI Business Team. John remains an engaged thought-leader for CAAFI through his participation with the CAAFI Steering Group.

“Farm to Fly 2.0” State Initiatives Making Progress

14 July 2014--The first half of 2014 was a period of significant successes on the East Coast relating to the "Farm to Fly 2.0" (F2F2) initiative, an agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue to work together to advance the use of renewable fuels in the aviation industry. Three projects in Vermont and South Carolina have received particular media attention over the last week. Projects in both states are funded by the USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).

In Vermont, GSR Solutions President Anju Dahiya and her team released the RBEG outcomes of a fuel conversion project at a dairy farm site—Nordic Farms—in Charlotte, Vermont. The results were announced to USDA, State Government and local business officials at a team meeting and press event on July 9. Feasibility study outcomes demonstrated positive yields for dairy and beer brewery waste-fed heterotrophic and mixotrophic algal biofuel compared to current production baselines. In addition, the process showed the potential for positive energy balance and the production of important granular time release nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer as a co-product to fight the local water pollution problems caused by liquid fertilizer runoff. Plans to move the project into a pilot phase were also released. The event was covered by the local NBC affiliate, the VT Digger, and Vermont Public Radio.

In addition, two South Carolina projects recently received RBEGs to assess the feasibility of woody biomass based biofuels (in Clarendon County) and algae based biofuels (in Colleton County). The acceptance of these two projects was publicized in a July 9 announcement. Both projects are centered on South Carolina's I-95 corridor, a major target for economic development.

“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).