Archived News

DOE Announces Funding for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Biofuel Production Plants

9 May 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “Project Definition for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower.” The FOA will fund selected project proposals for the design of pilot- or demonstration-scale biorefinery facilities that produce cellulosic biomass, algal biomass, or biosolids feedstocks.

For more information on the funding opportunity, refer to the CAAFI Funding Opportunity Announcement page and the FOA listing on the EERE Exchange site.

Rick Gustafson (UW) Presented “Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Poplar Feedstock – A Pacific Northwest Perspective” for CAAFI R&D Team SOAP-Jet Webinar Series

22 April 2016—ON April 8, 2016, Rick Gustafson (University of Washington) presented “Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Poplar Feedstock – A Pacific Northwest Perspective” as part of the third CAAFI R&D Team SOAP-Jet webinar series focusing on regional perspectives of alternative jet fuel development and deployment. The series concentrates on current activities, approaches to supply chain integration, and regional challenges.

Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB – is a USDA funded $40 million 5-year program whose mission is to lay the foundation for a renewable fuels and chemicals industry in the Pacific Northwest using sustainably grown poplar feedstock. AHB has projects ranging from development of energy tree farms to education programs for training future biorefinery operators. AHB has looked closely at producing renewable aviation fuels from poplar feedstock. In this webinar AHB introduced poplar as a bioenergy feedstock and discussed its conversion to aviation fuels and chemicals.

The entire slide deck from the presentation can be seen and downloaded here.

DOE Releases Notice of Intent to Fund Pilot and Demonstration Scale Biofuel Production Plants

19 April 2016 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a Notice of Intent (NOI), to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “Project Definition for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower.”

The FOA, once released, will fund selected project proposals for the design of pilot- or demonstration-scale biorefinery facilities that produce cellulosic biomass, algal biomass, or biosolids feedstocks. The construction of pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries such as this are essential in validating process technologies that enable future commercial scale biorefinery construction and operation. Selected projects will be funded with cooperative agreements that allow an estimated design period of performance of one to two years. After this time frame, eligible projects will be reviewed for Phase II construction and operations project funding.

DOE expects to release the FOA on or around May 2, 2016. For more information, refer to the full NOI released by EERE.

ASTM Approves New Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene for ASTM D7566 Specification

18 April 2016 – Gevo, Inc. announced that ASTM International approved a new sustainable alternative jet fuel pathway – Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK) – under ASTM D7566 (Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons) on April 1, 2016. The ATJ-SPK fuel is initially limited to use of isobutanol as a feedstock, although the specification outlines a pathway for inclusion of any C2-C5 alcohol feedstocks as additional data is generated by such producers. The alcohol feedstocks are subsequently processed through dehydration, oligomerization, hydrogenation, and fractionation to achieve the properties of an acceptable jet fuel blend stock. ATJ-SPK is now the 5th approved synthetic blending component approved by the industry.

As with the previous four approved ASTM D7566 fuel pathways, ATJ-SPK must be blended with petroleum-based jet fuel before it may be reclassified as a drop-in D1655 jet fuel. The fuel is limited to a 30% maximum blend level.

CAAFI wishes to congratulate Gevo on achieving this milestone, and we look forward to additional Gevo engagement with the aviation enterprise, leading to impactful commercialization opportunities. Find the revised ASTM D7566 specification and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announcement here and here, respectively.

CAAFI also looks forward to recurring approvals of additional D7566 pathways over the next several years, eventually enabling a very broad group of technologies and feedstocks to be used for the production of sustainable alternative jet fuel world-wide, and in meaningful quantities to help the aviation industry meets its carbon neutral growth goals.

Upcoming DOE Field-To-Fleet Webinar: “How Does Feedstock Type Affect Biofuels Conversion?”

13 April 2016 – The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting a webinar on April 20, 2016, from 1pm to 2pm Eastern Time on its Farm-to-Fleet program. The Farm-to-Fleet program is part of the overarching DOE Thermochemical Feedstock Interface project – a joint endeavor by the Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to examine how different feedstocks affect the thermochemical biofuels-conversion process.

The webinar will host speakers from each national lab listed above as well as the BETO Conversion Technology Manager, Prasad Gupte.

You may register for the Farm-to-Fleet program here.

Collaborative Industry Team Announces Launch of Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative

11 April 2016 – Last week, members of a team of 14 commercial aviation partners announced the launch of the Canada Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI). CBSCI is intended to be a three year collaborative effort culminating in the supply of 400,000 liters of sustainable jet fuel into the shared fuel supply of a major Canadian airport. The project will be led by the Waterfall Group, with strong support from Air Canada, SkyNRG, BioFuelNet Canada, Boeing, CAAFI®, and several others, including the U.S. FAA’s Centre of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels & Environment (ASCENT).

In addition to demonstrating the feasibility of incorporating sustainable alternative jet fuels in the jet fuel supply system, CBSCI aims to catalyze the development of the domestic biojet sector in Canada.

Teresa Ehman, Director of Environmental Affairs at Air Canada, expressed that "[Air Canada is] pleased to support this important initiative by facilitating the logistics involved in the introduction of biojet to an airport's shared fuel system.”

As a participating member of CBSCI, CAAFI will provide updates via news items on this page as the project progresses. Read more about CBSCI and Air Canada’s significant involvement here and here.

Queensland, Australia Proves it is “All In” When it Comes to the Global Biofuels Industry

4 April 2016 – Queensland has green-lighted a new $16 million advanced biofuels pilot plant to be built at the Southern Oil Refining’s Yarwun Plant in Gladstone, Australia. This announcement builds on the momentum of Queenland’s recent declaration of an ethanol and biodiesel road transport mandate starting January 2017.

Why is this important to the deployment of alternative jet fuel?

The plant, which if successful will be expanded into a $150 million commercial-scale refinery capable of producing 200 million liters of advanced biofuel annually, solidifies Queensland’s stake in the renewable fuel future of the United States and Australian Navy. Over the next three years, the plant aims to produce over a million liters of biofuel from waste lube oil and biomass for use in U.S. Navy Great Green Fleet and Australian Navy field trials. The construction of the plant will diversify the Queensland economy and create jobs while ensuring Australian biofuels’ place in the future global fuel supply chain. Dr. Susan Pond, School of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, noted that, “Australia has the opportunity to be a leader in biofuel production. We have world-class and diverse agricultural production systems that already produce the requisite feedstocks. We have world-class capabilities in science, technology, engineering.”

How is CAAFI involved?

In January 2016, the CAAFI Qualification team and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the agency funding the project, discussed the plant’s biofuel production pathways and feedstocks. The plant will convert native Australian biomass into biocrude that will be distilled into kerosene and diesel through hydrothermal liquefaction. The production technology source has not been released. As an initial step toward commercialization, CAAFI and ARENA will participate in the June meeting of the ASTM Subcommittee on Emerging Turbine Fuels. CAAFI also works closely with the Australian Initiative for Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel. Find additional information here.

SkyNRG, Embraer, and KLM Announce Launch of Sustainable Flights Series

2 April 2016 – On March 31, 2016, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in cooperation with SkyNRG, and Embraer launched a series of close to 80 sustainable jet fuel powered Embraer 190 flights, which will travel from Oslo, Norway to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Each flight will use alternative jet fuel derived from Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB)-certified Camelina oil, produced by Neste, and provided by Air BP and SkyNRG. Additionally, the flights will be fueled using Oslo Airport’s very own hydrant system, a practice that in January 2016 made Oslo Airport the first airport to do so.

In order for KLM to objectively analyze the efficiency and engine performance of alternative versus conventional jet fuel, Embraer will dispense the fuels via two separate fuel trucks. This tactic allows Embraer to accurately benchmark fuel efficiency differences between the two fuels. In support of the initiative, CEO of SkyNRG, Maarten van Dijk, noted that “the price gap between sustainable and fossil jet fuel remains the biggest challenge to create a stable market for sustainable jet fuel. Therefore engagement of all stakeholders, including governments, industry, and end-customers, is crucial.”

To receive more information about SkyNRG, visit

United Airlines Integrates Sustainable Aviation Biofuels into Regularly Scheduled Flights

19 March 2016 – United Airlines has become the first U.S. airline to use commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights. On March 11th, 2016, the first of the commercial flights occurred with United Airlines Flight 708 departing Los Angeles International Airport.

Over a three-year period, United will purchase up to 15M gallons of sustainable biofuel from AltAir Paramount. AltAir’s sustainable biofuels are created from converting non-edible, natural oils and agricultural wastes into jet fuel. In celebration of this milestone, United is operating all flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco for the next two weeks with 30% sustainable biofuel. United eventually plans to use renewable alternative jet fuel for all flights departing from LAX.

This is not the first of United’s biofuel milestones. In 2009, United became the first U.S. carrier to perform a biofuel demonstration. In 2011, United then became the first U.S. carrier to operate a commercial advanced biofuel flight.

For more information about United’s agreement and operations, see the news release here.

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia Searching for Biofuel Partnership

19 March 2016 – Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia announced the release of a request for information (RFI) to the aviation biofuel sector in search of a locally-produced aviation biofuel partnership.

Virgin Australia’s Head of Sustainability Robert Wood noted that although aviation biofuel development is growing internationally, it is not as prevalent in their region. However, Wood is confident that the introduction of sustainable biofuels in the region will lead to economic growth with creation of high-tech, high-skilled jobs. Chief Flight Operations & Safety Officer of Air New Zealand David Morgan said the RFI is a component of the airline’s carbon management program. RFI respondents are encouraged to address the principles of environmental, social, and economic benefits. The RFI will be accepting submissions of interest until May 30th, 2016.

More information about the release can be found in the Air NZ press release here.

For more information, contact:

Air New Zealand Communications
P: +64 21 747 320

Virgin Australia Public Affairs
P: 1800 142 467 or +61 7 3333 9666

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