LanzaTech’s First Commercial Ethanol Facility Begins Operations

8 June 2018 – LanzaTech’s 16 million gallon per year ethanol production facility in China began operations on May 3rd. This is the world’s first commercial facility that converts waste steel mill gases to ethanol. Ethanol can be converted to jet fuel and CAAFI is looking forward to continued collaboration with LanzaTech on the Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) pathway and opportunities to support the aviation sector.

Read LanzaTech’s press release here.

Shell Aviation and SkyNRG Announce Long-term Collaboration on SAJF Deployment

8 June 2018 – On May 30, 2018, Shell Aviation and SkyNRG announced that they will commit resources to a joint business development fund to support a multi-year strategic collaboration to promote the use of sustainable alternative jet fuel, with a particular focus on low-carbon solutions.

The official press release can be found here.

Fulcrum Sierra Biorefinery Groundbreaking

On May 16, 2018, I was privileged to personally witness the Fulcrum Sierra Biorefinery Groundbreaking in Storey County, NV. For over six years, the tri-agency team from the Departments of Navy, Energy, and Agriculture 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 see those shovels in the ground!

More than 200 guests and stakeholders from up and down the supply chain witnessed the groundbreaking event of this first-in-the-U.S. commercial scale biorefinery utilizing municipal solid waste as a feedstock. The State of Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, was the keynote speaker and enthusiastically welcomed this milestone project to the state.

The Sierra Project is in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center east of Reno and will utilize Fulcrum's proprietary thermochemical process to convert waste into low-carbon transportation fuels. Fulcrum's process can extend the life of landfills and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions compared to the use of traditional petroleum transportation fuel and traditional landfilling practices.

When the plant begins commercial operations in the first quarter of 2020, Sierra will convert approximately 175,000 tons of household garbage into more than 10.5 million gallons of fuel each year (their commercial-reference-size facility).

Fulcrum is developing future projects that follow a similar approach as Sierra with fixed feedstock costs, fuel offtake prices hedged against oil, plant performance guarantees and a low anticipated cost of production, with subsequent facilities sized at integer multiples of the reference size facility, to match local feedstock availability. As construction proceeds on Sierra, engineering, siting and permitting activities are underway for the company's next several projects. Fulcrum is looking at the Chicago area for its second commercial facility, and at the west coast for its third. Collectively, the Sierra facility and the next several plants are expected to deliver on Fulcrum’s current offtake agreements of more than 300 million gallons of jet fuel annually. For more information on the Fulcrum groundbreaking event, see Fulcrum’s website.

- Chris Tindal, Assistant Director of CAAFI

Consortium to Determine Feasibility of Using Waste Biomass to Produce SAJF in South Africa

24 May 2018 – It’s been announced that a consortium made up of Fetola, the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, and SkyNRG will launch a Waste to Wing project that will determine the feasibility of using waste biomass to produce sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) in South Africa. The consortium will work with small and medium-sized suppliers of the feedstock to demonstrate the pre-treatment process and conversion into SAJF that conforms to the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials’ sustainability standard. The project is supported with approximately $1.4 million from the European Union’s Switch Africa Green Program. The project will leverage lessons learned and share best practices with other African nations.

Red Rock Biofuels Announces Groundbreaking on First Commercial Facility, Orders FT Reactors, Catalysts from Velocys

May 21, 2018 – Red Rock Biofuels has announced that the groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s first commercial facility in Lakeview, Oregon, will be held on July 18, 2018. The Lakeview facility will use Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology to convert forestry residues into diesel and jet fuel. The facility is expected to turn 136,000 tons of waste woody material into 15 million gallons of drop-in transportation fuels annually.

The groundbreaking announcement comes just a few weeks after Red Rock provided a “notice to proceed” to Velocys to produce the FT reactors and catalysts for the Red Rock biorefinery.

Red Rock Biofuels was one of the initial recipients of Defense Production Act funding back in 2014 to enable the construction of biorefineries. The fuels are intended to be cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, be military grade, and have greater than 50% reduction in GHG emission compared to conventional fuels.

CAAFI’s Assistant Director, Chris Tindal, will attend the Red Rock groundbreaking on behalf of CAAFI.

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