Mercurius Biorefinery Pilot Plant Gets a Green Light

February 15, 2019 – U.S.-based Mercurius Biorefining is going Down Under. Gladstone, Queensland will be the site for the pilot plant for alternative jet fuel (AJF) and renewable diesel production from agricultural and forestry waste and is set to go ahead after a funding injection from the Queensland Government.

Mercurius Biorefining is developing its Renewable Acid-hydrolysis Condensation Hydrotreating (REACH) process, which converts cellulosic biomass to hydrocarbons in the renewable diesel, aviation, and marine fuel ranges. Valuable by-products include bio-char and a bio-plastic monomer, FDCA.

REACH is a new application of proven technologies that is both feedstock- and product-flexible. Sources of potential feedstock include waste from municipalities and non-food feedstocks like sugarcane waste.

Mercurius President and CEO Karl Seck said the company was attracted to Queensland by the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Acceleration Program in 2017. The Queensland Government has been very proactive and forward-leaning when it comes to developing a bioeconomy in Queensland. Additionally, they have a desire to create regional employment and economic growth opportunities through these types of innovative projects.

Detailed design of the Mercurius pilot biorefinery has commenced and they will begin construction in a few months. The pilot plant will be co-located on the Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun, with construction scheduled to conclude in late 2019.

To learn more about the Queensland Government’s commitment to biofutures, download the Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan here.

For more information, see the official story from the Queensland Government here.

Upcoming Event: Washington State Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit, March 2019

CAAFI is passing along the following invitation, courtesy of the Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit Committee.


07 – 08 March 2019
Seattle, Washington

Presented by the Earth Day Network and sponsored by the Port of Seattle and Alaska Air.

The latest Washington Department of Ecology report on the Washington State Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory: 1990-2015, shows that the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions increased by about 6% from 2012 to 2015, and that the transportation sector is among one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas. Sustainable aviation fuel can help reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 80% compared with petroleum jet fuel and can significantly reduce particulate matter.

At the two-day Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit, you will hear from national leaders on engaging and aligning the entire sustainable fuels value chain as Washington’s most innovative industries are brought together to develop a local supply chain of clean and sustainable fuels for aviation. Attendees can contribute to the dialogue and thought leadership on the topic of sustainable aviation fuels.

Bell Harbor International Conference Center
2211 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121

For more information and to register, please go to the Washington SAF Summit link

Thank you very much.
CAAFI Leadership Team

MIT Graduate Student opens the 2019 CAAFI Webinar Series, presenting analysis of policy effects on SAJF technoeconomics

25 January 2019 – On January 17, CAAFI’s R&D Team hosted the first CAAFI Webinar of 2019, presented by Juju Wang, a second year graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Wang is currently conducting research on alternative aviation fuel technologies in the Lab for Aviation and the Environment under Professor Steven Barrett. Her presentation, “Quantitative Policy Analysis for Alternative Jet Fuel Pathways” described her work using stochastic techno-economic analysis (TEA) to model various alternative jet fuel pathways’ economic viability relative to fossil jet. In addition, potential policies such as input subsidies, greenhouse gas reduction incentives, and capital grants were simulated in the model to assess breakeven policy costs and quantify policy effects (both singly and combined) on the financial viability for each pathway.

The webinar was well-attended with approximately 80 participants. To view the presentation slide deck, click here.

The model used for the analysis was modified from Bann et al. (2017) that can be found here.

CAAFI Webinars are intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel community to discuss progress and related gaps and challenges, share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies in order to promote communication among stakeholders and enable commercialization of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF).

The Netherlands Announce 100% Commitment to AJF

24 January 2019 – The Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands has begun to transition all military aviation to alternative jet fuel (AJF). This month, as a first step, more than 100,000 gallons of AJF produced by World Energy Paramount were delivered to an air base in the Netherlands. All F-16 fighter jets assigned to the base will fly on a 5/95 blend. The Netherlands’ Ministry of Defense has announced a plan to increase the blend level to 20% AJF for the entire nation’s fleet of 169 military aircraft by 2030 and 70% by 2050.

Read more here.

Business Aviation Community Holds Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) Demonstration & Communication Activity at Van Nuys, CA airport

23 January 2019 – On Jan. 17, the Business Aviation Community executed a significant demonstration activity entitled “Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability.” Avfuel supplied 6,200 gallons of Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel, and World Fuel Services supplied 8,000 gallons of World Energy Paramount’s hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) fuel to Van Nuys, CA airport (VNY). The fuel was delivered to jet-powered business aircraft by the four VNY fixed-base operators (FBOs): Jet Aviation, Clay Lacy Aviation, Castle & Cooke Aviation and Signature Flight Support. Additionally, business jets from Bombardier, Gulfstream, and Embraer flew to VNY fueled with SAJF blends, and undertook demonstration flights for press and dignitaries.

VNY is one of top-10 busiest general aviation airports in the U.S. The demonstration highlights the business aviation industry’s commitment to the development and use of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF), and how seamlessly these fuels can be integrated with normal airport operations. VNY reported that 140 departures were fueled with SAJF blends during the 24-hour event. The event included remarks from the major BizAv industry associations (EBAA, GAMA, IBAC, NATA, and NBAA) and local dignitaries, informational industry presentations about SAJF, in-flight demonstrations, a press event, and a networking reception.

CAAFI Executive Director Steve Csonka participated in the panel and press discussions, providing perspective to the 150+ attendees about potential GHG reductions, various production pathways, and how the aviation industry qualifies these fuels for use in flight. He emphasized that clear signals from the operator/FBO/supplier network to producers about their interest in purchasing and using SAJF are necessary for new producers to close on financing and build new SAJF production facilities. Csonka also remarked on additional SAJF benefits of reduced tailpipe emissions of sulfur oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and unburned hydrocarbons (all regulated pollutants) near the airport.

This VNY event represents the latest phase of CAAFI’s collaboration with the BizAv community to meet the sustainability goals of the entire jet-powered aviation industry. Additional events are expected to follow later this year.

Find more information here

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