Business Aviation Community Demonstrates Gevo’s ATJ Fuels at EBACE

22 May 2019 – World Fuels Services supplied Gevo-produced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – made with an alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) process – to fuel 22 flights following a conference organized by the Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels Coalition. The flights went from TAG Farnborough in the U.K. to Geneva for those attending the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE). This demonstrated not only the feasibility of fueling business aircraft with SAF, but also the continued commitment of the business aviation community to advancing the development and use of SAF. In May 2018, the Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels Coalition released a guide to using SAF for the business aviation community, which was followed by a demonstration event at one of the busiest general aviation airports at Van Nuys, CA in January of this year.

Read more from Gevo here and Aviation Week here.

First Ever Carbon-Minimizing ‘Perfect Flight’ Achieved in Sweden

22 May 2019 – Earlier this month, Braathens Regional Airlines, Air BP, ATR, and Neste collaborated to achieve the first-ever “perfect flight” from Halmstad to Stockholm, Sweden in which every element of the flight was optimized to minimize carbon emissions. Neste produced the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that was supplied by Air BP to fuel the ATR aircraft. The SAF has 80 percent fewer carbon emissions over its life cycle than traditional petroleum-based only jet fuel. The type of aircraft, the ATR 72-600, is a regional aircraft with the best environmental performance – producing 40 percent less carbon emission per flight compared to other regional jets. And Air BP’s operations at Halmstad airport have been certified as carbon neutral since 2016. The outcome of the collaboration is in-line with Sweden’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2045.

Read Air BP’s press release here.

$79 Million in Funding Available for Bioenergy Research and Development

9 May 2019 – Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of more than $79 million for the research and development of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Of particular note for the CAAFI community, the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) included a topic on Optimization of Biomass-Derived Jet Fuel Blends and several other topics relevant to advanced/drop-in fuels and feedstocks. The other topics areas are: Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae; Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface; Efficient Wood Heaters; Systems Research of Hydrocarbon Biofuel Technologies; Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes; Advanced Bioprocessing and Agile BioFoundry; Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy; Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion; and Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy. The FOA is meant to advance DOE’s objective to reduce the costs of biofuels and biopower, while enabling the creation of high-value products from biomass and/or waste resources.

For more information read the full FOA here.

Auburn University Awarded Grant for Carinata Feasibility Study

23 April 2019 – With funds made available by U.S. Department of Energy, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey awarded a grant of nearly $40,000 to Auburn University to conduct a feasibility study of whether Carinata can be grown in the state and converted to biofuel. The effort intends to leverage the Freight/Fuel Transportation Optimization Tool (FTOT) to identify supply chain needs in the state. FTOT can be used to understand how much biofuel can be produced in the near-term in a certain area. It can analyze the potential availability of biofuel feedstocks such as Carinata out to 2030 and anticipate demand to analyze how that material would optimally flow through the supply chain over the transportation network. A Volpe team led by CAAFI’s Kristin Lewis developed the tool.

Read the news release from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs here.

From the Executive Director: Earth Day 2019

I want to wish each of our CAAFI collaborators, a very Happy Earth Day 2019. We are just one year away from the 50th anniversary of the very first Earth Day in 1970, and the need for a concerted effort to improve the global sustainability is even clearer today than it was in 1970. This includes aviation, and, as usual, the industry accepts the challenge.

A key difficulty for the aviation industry is the expected continued growth in demand for aviation transport and the associated risk of increasing total emissions. To overcome this challenge, the aviation industry has been continuously improving the fleet fuel efficiency.

Multiple stakeholders from across the aviation and alternative fuels sectors have also been assisting with development and deployment of a wide range of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) options, and have established tools and models to help with SAF assessments and supply chain developments. We have a need for fuel options other than petroleum-based fuels to address other sector challenges including supply surety, energy security, and price stability.

Commercial aviation will most likely continue to use liquid hydrocarbon fuel as the primary energy source for aircraft for the next 40+ years, but hopefully from more and more renewable sources. We do expect to see greatly improved aircraft and operational efficiency to achieve the ICAO Carbon Neutral Growth target from 2020. Leveraging efficiency improvements and SAF, we hope to see the aviation industry start on a downward trend toward the ICAO 50% emissions reduction goal by 2050. We’re working towards a more sustainable aviation future with the tools we have at hand. Through R&D of all aspects of the SAF supply chain, and the methodical continuous deployment of commercial-scale biorefineries, we can and will reduce our carbon emissions.

We believe we will see an increase of initial commercial successes that validate our overall SAF approach in the coming two years. And, there is a lot more to follow. On this Earth Day 2019, we appreciate your assistance in helping the industry meet its goals.

-Steve Csonka, CAAFI Executive Director

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