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Co-Processing Provision Approved and Added to ASTM 1655 Annex A1, Enables Renewable Feedstocks in Jet Fuel

18 April 2018 - The Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants, as well as their D02.J0 Sub-committee on Aviation Fuels, have approved the co-processing of renewable feedstocks with crude oil-derived middle distillates in petroleum refineries. The concurrent ballot was issued in February to the subcommittee and committee. The co-processing provision will be added to Annex A1 of ASTM D1655, Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels, and should be published imminently. The Annex will initially include co-processing of up to 5% by volume of fats and oils (free fatty acids and fatty acid esters found in oils derived from plants and animal fats) as feedstocks in petroleum refinery processes. The Co-processing Task Force will next work toward adding Fischer-Tropsch (FT) derived biocrude feedstocks to the annex. CAAFI welcomes this additional approach toward alternative jet fuel commercialization, and looks forward to further engagement with existing refineries on ways to achieve increasing volumes of sustainable fuel production.

Ethanol Added as Approved Feedstock and Allowable Blend Levels Increased for ASTM Approved Alternative Jet Fuel Annex

18 April 2019 – Earlier this month, ethanol was added as an approved feedstock in ASTM 7566 Annex A5, the specification for Alcohol-To-Jet fuel, Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK). With CAAFI support, LanzaTech led the ASTM Task Force for ethanol based ATJ fuel produced using technology initially developed by the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) that LanzaTech has scaled-up. In addition to adding ethanol to the ATJ-SPK approved pathway, the blend ratio for ATJ-SPK was raised from 30% to 50% for commercial flights. LanzaTech is currently designing an ethanol-based ATJ-SPK facility that can produce 3 million gallons of alternative jet fuel and diesel using sustainable ethanol feedstocks. With this new revision of the ATJ-SPK annex, ethanol-based ATJ can be produced with ethanol from any feedstock, including industrial off gas, biomass wastes and residues, and municipal solid waste. This flexibility enables ATJ-SPK to be produced in a sustainable manner from locally available sustainable feedstocks wherever a facility is located. CAAFI is pleased to see the addition of ethanol as a feedstock to ASTM 7566 Annex A5 and the increased blend ratio, which creates new commercial opportunities.

Read LanzaTech’s press release here.

Global Bioenergies and SkyNRG to Collaborate on ASTM Certification of New SAJF Pathway

18 April 2018 – Global Bioenergies and SkyNRG have announced they will work together to qualify Global Bioenergies’ process for converting isobutene to a sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) through ASTM for use in commercial aviation. Global Bioenergies’ pathway entails oligomerization and hydrogenation of isobutene produced from forestry or agricultural wastes to C12 isoparaffins. Global Bioenergies has sent fuel produced in Germany to SkyNRG for preliminary analysis. The aim of the partnership is to accelerate the commercialization of this alternative jet fuel pathway. CAAFI welcomes this partnership and their entry into the ASTM qualification process as another pathway to a more secure and sustainable aviation future.

Read the press release here.

UK Adds Alternative Jet Fuel into RTFO Scheme for Reducing GHG Emissions

18 April 2018 – The UK Government is updating its Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) GHG emissions reduction scheme to increase the biofuels volume target and include alternative jet fuel. The RTFO requires suppliers of transport and non-road mobile machinery fuels greater than 450,000 liters to show that a percentage of their fuel comes from sustainable sources to encourage renewable fuel production resulting in a reduction in GHG emissions from the transportation sector. The RTFO legislation was passed in 2007 and has been amended five times since, with the latest taking effect April 15th. This latest amendment brings alternative jet fuels under the RTFO scheme, making jet fuel producers eligible for incentives that were previously only available for road transport fuels. The goal for including alternative aviation fuels alongside road transport fuels is to support the UK’s low carbon fuel industry in making the UK’s transport sector one of the most sustainable in the world.

Read more here.

Boeing, FedEx Continue ecoDemonstrator Program Test Flights, including Fully Synthetic Alternative Jet Fuel

28 March 2018 – The ecoDemonstrator Program, now in its fifth iteration, uses Boeing aircraft as test beds focused on accelerating the development of novel technologies that are designed to improve environmental and safety performance of airplanes. FedEx Express owns the Boeing 777 Freighter that’s serving as the current ecoDemonstrator. The aircraft is currently being used for flight tests at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. Once flight testing is complete at the end of April, the airplane will be returned to FedEx to resume regular delivery services. The 2018 flights will test about 35 separate technologies ranging from a laser system that can detect clear air turbulence to ground collision avoidance. CAAFI is pleased to note that nearly all of these tests will fly on a blend of HEFA biofuel to reduce emissions and increase efficiency. Several flights will use 100 percent fully synthetic fuel to also demonstrate the performance and properties of this alternative fuel. Boeing will evaluate the fuel system and engine and aircraft performance using the unblended alternative fuel compared to traditional petroleum-based jet fuel. Boeing expects these data to support industry approval of increased blend levels.

See and read more information about this year’s ecoDemonstrator Program here and here.

Two European Airlines Announce Efforts on Improving Sustainability via Customer Engagement: AJF and Carbon Offsetting at Booking

28 March 2018 – Braathens Regional Airlines and Ryanair are providing passengers the opportunity to help the airlines improve their sustainability by purchasing alternative jet fuel (AJF) and carbon offsets, respectively. Braathens is the first airline in the world that allows customers to select AJF at the point of purchase by adding the difference in fuel cost of traditional petroleum-based jet fuel, but adding no other fees. The AJF will be offered to all customers based on a fixed cost equivalent to their average flight time of one hour. Similarly Ryanair, who just launched their Environmental Policy that includes support for the 2-degree ambition of the Paris agreement and the sector’s goals of reducing net CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 using 2005 as a baseline, will begin offering customers the ability to make a donation during booking to offset their carbon emissions.

Read more about these efforts here and here.

World Energy Acquires AltAir and Adjacent Paramount Oil Refinery in $72M Deal, Enabling Potential Expansion of Renewable Jet/Diesel Production

21 March 2018 - World Energy, one of America’s largest suppliers of biodiesel, has acquired AltAir Fuels and the surrounding 63-acre refinery in Paramount, CA. The $72 million deal also includes a significantly sized tank farm, rail storage, and distribution and pipeline assets connecting the facility to major California hubs. At present, AltAir Fuel produces 40+ million gallons of renewable fuels per year from a portion of the Paramount site, including diesel, jet, and gasoline blending components, using Honeywell UOP conversion technology and a fraction of the site’s hydroprocessing infrastructure. Feedstocks for the facility include fats, oils, and greases sourced from the region. This acquisition creates World Energy’s fifth renewable fuel manufacturing plant and their first on the west coast. Their other plants are located in Houston, TX, Natchez, MS, Rome, GA, and Harrisburg, PA.

World Energy’s acquisition of AltAir Fuels and the remainder of the refinery provides the opportunity to significantly expand the Paramount facility’s renewable fuel production capacity by using hydrotreating and other refinery infrastructure at the site that has gone unutilized for some time. CAAFI’s Executive Director, Steve Csonka, says, “Our hats are off to Bryan Sherbacow, for his commitment to working in this space, and for his support of the sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) needs of the aviation industry. We hope the execution of this deal enables Bryan to realize his previously communicated vision to expand production capacity of renewable fuels at this site by 3 to 5 times. We further hope his experience in working with the aviation community results in a greater level of engagement by the new World Energy management team in evaluating expansion of SAJF production generally, since several fuel users are seeking additional supply in the next several years, while awaiting other producers’ production sites to come online.”

CAAFI notes that AltAir Fuels, since March of 2016, have collaborated with various fuel distributors to provide fuel to multiple entities for regular use by airlines and business aviation, as well as several demonstration and research activities.

Read more here.

DOE Grants Research Group $10.6 Million to Support Alternative Fuels

5 March 2018 -The Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) project has received $10.6 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create energycane (enhanced sugarcane) and miscanthus (elephant grass) to increase production of alternative fuels, including bio-based alternative jet fuel. ROGUE consists of researchers from the University of Illinois, University of Florida, Mississippi State University and Brookhaven National Lab. The team will expand on work previously funded by DOE that achieved 8% oil content in these crops. The team will apply synthetic biology so the crops will reach up to 20% oil content by reducing sugar production potentially making them more productive and profitable than other feedstocks, such as corn and soybeans. The oil will be extracted with technology patented by the University of Illinois. The team also aims to improve photosynthetic efficiency to reduce water and nitrogen content to help offset the disadvantages of increasing oil content, such as lower yields and weaker plant defenses.

Read more about the project here.

CAAFI R&D Team Hosted Webinar Presenting ASCENT’s Approach to Regional Projects

2 March 2018 – On February 23, 2018, CAAFI’s R&D Team hosted principals from the FAA’s Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT) to present the current approach of Project 01: Alternative Jet Fuel Supply Chain Analysis that is focusing on concrete, tactical opportunities to develop operational supply chains. Nate Brown, Program Manager, provided an overview of the approach to the three regional projects that have been undertaken in the U.S. located in the Inland Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, and the Southeast. Scott Turn, Project 01 Lead Investigator, and Dr. Mike Wolcott, ASCENT Director and Project 01 Coordinator, followed with more detail on the opportunities in Hawaii and the Inland Northwest.

To view the slides from the presentations click here.

SOAP-Jet webinars are intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel community to discuss progress and related gaps and challenges, share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies in order to promote communication among stakeholders and enable commercialization of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF).

ASCENT Names New Assistant Director

31 January 2018 – The Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT), also known as the FAA Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment, has hired Carol Sim as the new Assistant Director. Sim previously served as Director of Environmental Affairs for Alaska Airlines, Carol Sim, as the Assistant Director. See ASCENT’s press release copied below:

Washington State University (WSU)-led Aviation Center hires Assistant Director, Carol Sim
PULLMAN, Wash. - Previously the Director of Environmental Affairs for Alaska Airlines, Carol Sim has been hired as the Assistant Director for the Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT) at WSU. Sim brings more than thirty years of experience in managing environmental compliance, sustainability, and biofuel programs and has previously worked with the Center as an industry advisor.

As the Assistant Director, Sim will act as the Center’s industry liaison, working directly with the ASCENT
Advisory Committee, a group made up of industry members, regulatory agencies, non-profits, and more.
Sim will also work closely with the ASCENT director, Dr. Michael Wolcott, to manage the Center’s communication and outreach efforts.

Also known as the FAA Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment, ASCENT is a cooperative aviation research organization co-led by Washington State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Projects funded through ASCENT are providing the aviation industry, governmental agencies, communities, and policy-makers with science-based solutions for the environmental challenges facing aviation.

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