Archived News

Boeing, Embraer Open Joint Sustainable Aviation Biofuel Research Center in Brazil

2 February 2015—Last month, Boeing and Embraer opened a joint sustainable aviation biofuel research center in Brazil. This collaboration is led by Boeing Research and Technology-Brazil that works with Brazil’s research and development community to further establish the aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, helping to meet aviation’s environmental goals. The companies will coordinate and co-fund research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in creating a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, such as feedstock production, techno-economic analysis, economic viability studies and processing technologies. The Boeing-Embraer Joint Research Center is the latest in a series of collaborative efforts by Boeing, Embraer and Brazilian partners on sustainable aviation biofuel. Read Boeing’s full press release here.

Aviation Moves Closer to Using Alternative Fuels in Regular Flight Operations with Lufthansa Group Announcement

12 January 2015—The Lufthansa Group has announced a one year contract with the Norwegian oil company Statoil Aviation. Starting in March 2015, Statoil will provide 2.5 million gallons of certified biokerosene into the tanks at Oslo airport that will then be used to fuel Lufthansa Group’s aircraft. Oslo airport is the world’s first large commercial airport to offer a continuous provision of biofuel over a long period and to fuel aircraft with biofuel directly from its hydrant system. For the Lufthansa Group, this is the next step from its previous test flights toward the use of alternative fuels in regular flight operations. Read more here.

Navy Fighter Jet Goes Supersonic Using Advanced Alternative Jet Fuel Derived from Renewable Alcohols

5 January 2015—The U.S. Navy and Gevo have conducted a test flight of an F/A-18 Hornet using a 50-50 alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) blend in supersonic afterburner operations at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Patuxent River, Md. Gevo produces isobutanol and then converts the alcohol to alternative jet fuel. It was the first comprehensive aviation test evaluating the performance of a 50-50 ATJ blend in supersonic afterburner operations and a necessary step in order for the fuel blend to be cleared for use in regular F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet operations. Read more here and see Gevo’s press release here.

DOE Announces $7 Million Award for Two Projects Developing Advanced Logistics for Bioenergy Feedstocks

29 December 2014—Earlier this month, the Energy Department announced $7 million in funding was awarded to two projects focused on developing and demonstrating ways to reduce the cost of delivering bioenergy feedstocks to biorefineries. The State University of New York—College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the University of Tennessee will each receive $3.5 million to study how costs along the bioenergy feedstock supply chain could be lowered while increasing access to the available feedstocks. Read the announcement here.

Amyris’ Renewable Jet Fuel Approved by ANP in Brazil

19 December 2014—The National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP), Brazil’s fuels regulator, has given regulatory approval to Amyris’ farnesane jet fuel. This builds on the ASTM International standard for aviation fuel that was revised this past June and removes the regulatory hurdle for the commercialization of Amyris’ renewable jet fuel in blends of up to 10 percent in Brazil. A recently released report concluded that Amyris’ farnesane has an emission reduction of 90% on a lifecycle basis when compared with conventional fossil fuels. Read Amyris’ press release here.

Boeing Launches First Flight Using Renewable Diesel as a Jet Fuel Blending Component

11 December 2014—Last week, Boeing launched the first test-flight of a commercial aircraft using a jet fuel blended with sustainable, renewable diesel made from vegetable oils, cooking oil and fat. This flight, part of Boeing’s broader ecoDemonstator program, illustrates the aviation enterprise’s continued progress toward making low-carbon, synthetic jet fuels available for widespread use in the near term. The renewable diesel, made by Neste Oils Inc., was used in one engine of a Boeing 787 aircraft as a 15 percent blend with conventional jet fuel. According to Boeing, the flight encountered no issues and the plane operated just as it would have under normal conditions using only conventional jet fuel. A renewable diesel concept must still be defined and then pass the ASTM-International qualification process before being used in-service. However, there is substantial interest in using renewable diesel as a jet fuel blending component because it is already being produced commercially on a large-scale around the world and is expected to be cost competitive with conventional jet fuel. The renewable diesel blending concept joins the approximately half dozen potential alternative jet fuel candidates currently under consideration for ASTM approval in the next few years.
Read more about Boeing’ flight here.

Vertimass Awarded $2 M Grant from DOE to Commercialize Technology that Converts Ethanol to Jet Fuel Blend Stocks

3 December 2014—On Monday, Vertimass announced that they have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy of up to $2 million. The grant was awarded to aid the company’s work to improve and demonstrate catalyst technologies that provide commercially viable and sustainable transportation fuels that are compatible with the current transportation infrastructure. Vertimass, with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is focused on more efficiently converting ethanol into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel blend stocks. The technology could also expand opportunities to convert additional quantities of ethanol produced from diverse conversion technologies and feedstocks, including plant sugars (sweet sorghum, sugar beet, cane), and cellulosic biomass, in addition to corn starch. To read more click here.

CAAFI R&D Team kicks off its second SOAP-Jet webinar series focusing on the co-processing of biofuels within existing refinery systems

17 November 2014-- On Friday, November 14th, the CAAFI R&D Team kicked off its second Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum – Jet (SOAP-Jet) webinar series, focusing on the co-processing of biofuels within existing refinery systems, with an emphasis on the applicability of this approach to producing aviation biofuels. John Holladay of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory presented on, “Refinery Integration of Renewable Feedstocks”.

The presentation provided an overview of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) investment in this sphere, the efforts of the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium to include new modeling tools for assessing the value of bio-derived streams in petroleum refineries, and technology advances from PNNL for converting highly oxygenated bio-derived streams into hydrocarbon fuels which cover the range of gasoline, jet and diesel fuel.

The event was attended by over 90 people.

To access the slide deck from this SOAP-Jet webinar, follow:
Link to “Refinery Integration of Renewable Feedstocks” SOAP-Jet webinar.

The webinar series is intended to provide a forum for information sharing and member participation in cutting edge R&D topics related to alternative jet fuels. Additional presentations will be scheduled for the first half of 2015. To learn more about the SOAP-Jet series or to share your ideas for future SOAP-Jet webinars, contact Kristin Lewis (

Boeing-COMAC Partnership Converting Cooking Oil to Jet Fuel to Evaluate Large Scale Potential

6 November 2014—Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) have partnered on a demonstration facility to convert waste cooking oil into jet fuel in Hangzhou, China. This project, the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project, is expected to assess the feasibility and cost of producing a high volume of sustainable aviation biofuel to meet the increasing demand for air travel by a growing Chinese population while meeting the industry’s carbon emissions reduction goal. The partnership anticipates that the fuel produced from the pilot facility will meet the hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) Annex of the ASTM Specification D7566 for alternative jet fuels, which has already been internationally approved and used in commercial flights. The companies are estimating that up to 500 million gallons of sustainable jet fuel could be produced annually from waste cooking oil in China. Read Boeing’s press release on the project here.

Southwest Airlines Announces Purchase Agreement with Red Rock Biofuels

24 September 2014—Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, a CAAFI member, has announced today an agreement with Red Rock Biofuels to annually purchase three million gallons of alternative jet fuel made from woody biomass. It is expected that the low-carbon renewable fuel will be incorporated as a blend with conventional jet fuel in Southwest’s airplanes originating from San Francisco airports starting in 2016. This announcement demonstrates the continued engagement of the airlines in facilitating the development and commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuel. It is also another clear example of the work being undertaken by the aviation enterprise, behind the scenes, to develop supply-chains and stimulate cost-effective fuel production, from a broad range of renewable resources, and from a variety of producers and regions. Read more here.

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