LanzaTech supplies ATJ-SPK for Virgin Atlantic flight demo using world’s first fuel made from waste carbon gases

3 October 2018 - As both LanzaTech and Virgin had signaled last month, yesterday (October 2nd), Virgin Atlantic flew a 747-400 from Orlando to London-Gatwick fueled by a blend of alternative jet fuel (AJF) produced by LanzaTech. The AJF portion was produced at LanzaTech’s Freedom Pines demonstration facility in Soperton, GA, using a starting feedstock of ethanol, complying with the definition of ASTM D7566, Annex A5, Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK). The aviation industry approved ethanol as an acceptable feedstock for conversion to jet fuel on 01Apr’18. The ethanol used for this batch of ATJ-SPK came in part from their initial facilities in China. LanzaTech announced the start-up of their first commercial ethanol-from-waste facility in China on June 8, 2018.

Yesterday, Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, further announced that LanzaTech intends to have a dual approach to working in the low-carbon fuels market: production of Lanzanol (their branded low-carbon ethanol) using fermentation of off-gases from industrial facilities (e.g. associated with metals or petroleum production); and production of SAJF using the ATJ-SPK process with various, sustainable ethanol feedstocks (whether from Lanzanol or other processes). Holmgren announced their intent to pursue development of a commercial-scale ATJ-SPK unit at Freedom Pines, producing over 10 million gallons per year (gpy) of neat Annex A5 blending component by around the end of 2019. A second, larger facility (30 million gpy) is currently being considered for construction in the UK, targeting fuel delivery in 2021. LanzaTech is also evaluating a ethanol production facility in California, and would be open to considering an accompanying ATJ-SPK facility.

CAAFI Executive Director, Steve Csonka, was very pleased to support the press event at Orlando, and discuss the merits, progress, and remaining challenges associated with wide-scale production and use of SAJF with other attendees. CAAFI is also pleased to be continuing to collaborate with LanzaTech regarding supply chain development opportunities for the Freedom Pines facility.

LanzaTech Press Release

Virgin Atlantic Press Release
PNNL Press Release

WestJet and Alberta Innovates team to announce additional Canadian Incentive Program targeting SAJF development – the WestJet Aviation Biofuel Challenge

3 October 2018 - The recently announced WestJet Biofuel Challenge is intended to incentivize the use/development of existing or emerging technologies, using low-cost Alberta biomass, coupled with any other complementary, efficient technologies, with the goal of scaling up Alberta as a leader in the aviation biofuel industry. Alberta Innovates and partners will contribute up to $2 million for demonstration and small-scale production (approximately 10 liters) through an economical, bioconversion technology(s), that can use Alberta sourced feedstock leading to the production of a sustainable, certifiable, economic drop-in aviation biofuel. Please see the site here, and accompanying links for details on applicability and registration requirements.

Airbus and JetBlue announced a joint commitment to sustainable aviation fuel with first-ever customer delivery flights of new aircraft from the Mobile, Alabama production facility.

19 September 2018 - Demonstrating their combined commitment towards eco-efficiency in aviation, Airbus delivered a new aircraft to JetBlue this past week that was fueled with a blend of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF). This delivery is a first step for Airbus’ sustainable aviation fuels strategy in the U.S., and a key aspect of JetBlue’s emissions reduction strategy. With an aviation industry-wide goal to cap net greenhouse gas growth from 2020 onward, the two companies are preparing their businesses for the long-term. Chris Tindal, CAAFI Assistant Director attended the news conference for this announcement at Airbus’ Mobile, Alabama aircraft production and delivery facility.

JetBlue undertook the delivery acceptance process of this first of five new A-321s and flew the aircraft on a 15% blend of sustainable alternative jet fuel, which was sourced through Air BP. The feedstock used for the production of the SAJF was used cooking oil.

For Airbus, this is their second assembly facility to supply SAJF in their delivered aircraft, having started such deliveries from their Toulouse, France facility previously. A part of Airbus’ strategy in the U.S. is to help develop a more permanent local source of SAJF in the Southeast region. CAAFI is working with Airbus and some of their partners on analysis in the region, and to link various parts of SAJF supply-chains together for their initiative. This could help bring agricultural, logistic, and manufacturing jobs to the region.

The main speakers at the announcement news conference were Daryl Taylor, the Vice President & General Manager of Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility, Sophia Mendelsohn, the Director of Sustainability & Environmental Social Governance for JetBlue, and Frederic Eychenne, the Sustainable Aviation Engagement Program Manager for Airbus.

For more information including statements, video, and photos of the fueling and flight of the A-321 aircraft with SAJF, go to

Red Rock Biorefinery Breaks Ground!

On July 18, 2018, I was privileged to deliver a short speech and be an ‘official groundbreaker’ at the Red Rock Biorefinery Groundbreaking in Lakeview, Oregon. For over six years, the tri-agency team from the Departments of Navy, Energy, and Agriculture, with Red Rock Biofuels, has been working through the detailed steps of the Defense Production Act process to get to this stage. It has been a long road for my counterparts and myself, but it was well worth the effort. I could not have been prouder to have a shovel in my hand and turn some dirt!

More than 200 guests, including political dignitaries, corporate representatives, off-takers from Federal Express and Southwest Airlines and a large community contingent witnessed the groundbreaking event of this first-in-the-U.S. commercial scale biorefinery utilizing woody biomass waste as a feedstock. When the plant begins commercial operations in the last quarter of 2019, this $320 million renewable fuel facility will produce 15 million gallons of jet fuel each year.

Over 100 jobs are estimated to be created for the construction, and once fully operational Red Rock will provide around 35 full-time jobs for operations. Additionally, approximately 75 jobs will be created for trucking and materials gathering, utilizing private and public forest lands as well as waste products from regional sawmills and wood products manufacturing sites.

Lakeview Mayor Ray Turner was enthusiastic that this project would bring jobs and, as he jokingly stated, possibly a second grocery store to the small town of barely 2,000 residents.

“This bio-refinery marks a turning point,” said Red Rock Chief Financial Officer Jeff Manternach. “It will help this mill town continue to be a place where things are made, and it will combat global climate change. This is the first of its kind in the world, and you all made it happen. May this be the precedent for a great highway fueled by courage and innovation.”

For more information on the Red Rock groundbreaking event, see Red Rock’s website, this youtube video, and this news article.

- Chris Tindal, Assistant Director of CAAFI

AltAir Fuels Wins another DLA Energy Contract to provide Renewable Diesel to the U.S. Navy

10 September 2018 – Congratulations go out to Bryan Sherbacow and the Team at AltAir Fuels! The company has won another Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy contract for the Rocky Mountain West Coast solicitation. The amount of the contract award is for 58 million gallons of a 30% blend of F-76 renewable diesel for the period of 1 October 2018 – 30 September 2019. AltAir Fuels is currently providing 60 million gallons of 30% renewable diesel to the U.S. Navy under the current fiscal year contract which ends on 30 September 2018.

The DLA Energy contract price was for $1.91 per gallon, which is cost competitive with traditional fuel producers. The fuel will be provided to the U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet ships based out of San Diego, California.

AltAir Fuels is also the first commercial sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) producer in the U.S. and provides a 30% blend of SAJF to Los Angeles Airport under a contract with United Airlines. Currently, AltAir Fuels is in the third year of that three-year contract with United Airlines. weblink to RMWC Award

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