Archived News

CAAFI Members and Collaborators Named Top 125 People in Advanced Bioeconomy 2015

11 March 2015 – The Biofuels Digest released their list of the Top 125 People in the Advanced Bioeconomy 2015 as nominated by the readers and the editorial board of the Biofuels Digest. Congratulations to the members of our own CAAFI team and collaborators for making the list!

Rich Altman, Executive Director Emeritus, CAAFI
Harry Baumes, Director of Energy Policy, USDA
Nathan Brown, Director, FAA
Todd Campbell, USDA
Chris Cassidy, USDA
Steve Csonka, Executive Director, CAAFI
Zia Haq, DOE Biomass Program
John Heimlich, Chief Economist, Airlines for America
Chris Tindal, Director, Operational Energy, US Navy
Wally Tyner, Professor Purdue
Nancy Young, Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Airlines for America

See the full list here.

Interagency Biomass Research and Development Initiative receiving $8.7 Million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Energy Department

9 March 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Energy (DOE) announced that $8.7 million will be available through the Interagency Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) in fiscal year 2015. This funding will further research in projects developing economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass and biobased products. The funding will assist in meeting the nation’s goal of supporting progress in creating bioenergy feedstocks, biofuels, and biobased products. Concept papers are due by March 27, 2015, and full applications are due by July 27, 2015.

Proposals must integrate science and engineering in one of three areas: feedstock development, biofuels/biobased products development, or biofuels development analysis.

More information on funding application requirements can be reached here under Reference Number USDA-NIFA-9008-004957.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Accepting Comments on Biomass Crop Assistance Program Final Rule

6 March 2015 – on February 26, the USDA published its final rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) in the Federal Register, which includes modifications to cost sharing and eligible types of biomass. The BCAP delivers up to $25 million to establish, produce, and deliver biomass feedstocks to a qualifying energy facility. A 60 day period for public commenting will be due April 28, 2015 and the program will resume May 28, 2015. The Final Rule is available for review and comment here.

Battelle partnership with USAF targeting enhanced use of AAFRF for sustainable alternative jet fuel qualification efforts

2 March 2015—Through an agreement with Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Battelle operates the Assured Aerospace Fuels Research Facility (AAFRF) in Dayton, Ohio. The AAFRF enables small-scale production of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF) for R&D, evaluation, and qualification efforts. This partnership with the U.S. Air Force puts Battelle in a unique position to provide a full spectrum of services to assist in the development of SAJF. Battelle also optimizes conversion processes for the production of SAJF and bio-based products, and operates hydrotreatment and catalyst development laboratories at its headquarters in Columbus, OH.

Battelle’s multidisciplinary teams and leading-edge facilities ensure efficient and cost-effective R&D. In addition to the existing pilot production set-up, space and infrastructure are also available at the AAFRF for more-integrated research, development and demonstration of end-to-end SAJF production from multiple conversion methodologies.

Read more about AAFRF and Battelle’s expertise, and how to contact them to explore collaboration opportunities here. Battelle also intend to provide overviews of AAFRF capability, and seek further industry input on R&D needs, at upcoming CAAFI R&D and Cert./Qual. team meetings.

CAAFI R&D Team meeting to be held March 9 & 10 in Alexandria, VA

26 February 2015—CAAFI® will hold a Research and Development (R&D) Team meeting on March 9 and 10 in Alexandria, VA. The Day 1 sessions will focus on a progress review of recent activities of the R&D Team, CAAFI in general, and Public-Private-Partnership efforts (e.g. the Farm –to-Fly 2.0 program), identifying key remaining and new R&D challenges, and a discussion of available R&D funding sources.

Day 2 will consist of an overlapping alternative fuel activity review session with the Advisory Group of the FAA-funded Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT) Center of Excellence. ASCENT researchers will provide updates on their research activities relating to alternative fuels, including reports from several projects on Supply Chain Development and the National Jet Fuel Combustion Program. These fuel-focused projects are intended to advance the near-term development and commercialization of sustainable aviation jet fuels at commercial scale.

To view the agenda for the meetings, please click here.

Note that attendance is limited to members of the CAAFI R&D Team, ASCENT participants, and ASCENT Advisory Group members. For information on joining CAAFI, and participating on its several work teams, contact us at

Contract Awarded to Use Desert Plants and Seawater to Produce Jet Biofuel in UAE Pilot Project

19 February 2015—The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) have awarded a contract to Abu-Dhabi-based International Mechanical & Electrical Company (IMECO) to construct a bioenergy pilot project that will enable the production of sustainable aviation fuel in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The project is based on research by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to use seawater systems in desert or salinized/degraded land for the production of food, energy and other bioproducts. The concept uses the nutrient-rich wastewater from raising fish and shrimp (for human consumption) to fertilize oil-rich halophyte (saline tolerant) plants that can be harvested for renewable oil production. The goal of pilot project is to demonstrate the integrated bioenergy process as a commercially viable and sustainable system with respect to essential food and fuel production, suitable land use, reduced carbon emissions and wastewater clean-up. Read the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology news release here.

CAAFI R&D Team continues its SOAP-Jet webinar series on the co-processing of biofuels within existing refineries with a talk by Ben Saydah of Sapphire Energy

11 February 2015—On Friday, February 6th, the CAAFI R&D Team had its second presentation in the 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. Ben Saydah, Director of Conversion and Upgrading at Sapphire Energy, presented on, “Co-processing of Green Crude in Existing Petroleum Refineries”.

The presentation provided an overview of Sapphire Energy’s pilot scale algae hydrothermal liquefaction unit producing algae bio-crude oil. The presentation provided a summary of the co-processing work Sapphire has completed internally and with Baker Hughes and Phillips 66. This co-processing work included co-processing in refinery crude units, hydrotreating and fluid catalytic cracking and coking. The data have been used to rank the attractiveness of co-processing options and to generate the data required for application of EPA Part 79 certification.

The event was attended by approximately 80 people.

To access the slide deck from this SOAP-Jet webinar, follow:
Link to “Co-processing Green Crude in Existing Petroleum Refineries” 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 April and May of 2015. To learn more about the SOAP-Jet series or to share your ideas for future SOAP-Jet webinars, contact Kristin Lewis (

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.

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