Archived News

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.

DPA Title III Phase 2 Awards Announced: $210 M for 100 M annual gallons of Military Spec Biofuels

22 September 2014 –The United States Navy, DOE and USDA announced today their award of $210 million targeting the annual production of 100 million gallons of drop-in biofuels. The funding was made possible under the Defense Production Act (DPA) and given to Emerald Biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy and Red Rock Bio. This award signifies the continuation of the DPA’s Biofuels Production Project that was first announced in 2012. The companies will use the funds to build three biorefineries with the capacity to annually produce 100 million gallons of military-spec jet fuel and marine diesel—much more than the DPA’s initial funding announcement indicating the goal of building a 10 million gallon biorefinery. The 100 million gallons of biofuel is expected to reduce emissions by 50 percent, cost the U.S. military $3.50 or less per gallon--competitive with petroleum-based fuels -- and be available as soon as 2016. Read more about the DoD’s latest commitment to drop-in biofuels here.

CAAFI Pointed to as Model Initiative to Facilitate UK's Long-Term Goals for Sustainable Aviation Fuels

9 September 2014—The industry group Sustainable Aviation has published Sustainable Aviation Fuels – Fuelling the Future, a discussion paper, stating they are now confident that sustainable, carbon neutral fuels have the potential to cut UK aviation carbon emissions more than previously thought. According to Sustainable Aviation, airlines have taken significant steps to utilize alternative fuels to help cut emissions, but industry stakeholders believe the investment needed to achieve significant alternative fuel usage will only come to fruition if the government moves to reduce investor risk by actively supporting technology development. The report notes that right now, the available alternative aviation fuels cost more than fossil fuels. As a result, the group is calling on the government to communicate long-term goals for sustainable aviation fuels, and establish programs to assist the sector with achieving their goals. The group suggests a public-private sector task force modelled on CAAFI to develop such a plan.
Read the full paper here.

CAAFI Welcomes DOE to Farm to Fly 2.0

15 August 2014--At the recent BIOMASS 2014 conference, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson of the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that DOE will join Farm to Fly 2.0, the second phase of an ongoing effort initiated by CAAFI and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promote the deployment and use of homegrown drop-in alternative aviation fuels. DOE has a longstanding interest in the development of biofuels and other alternative fuels, and their participation in Farm to Fly 2.0 further solidifies that interest and support. Their commitment to Farm to Fly 2.0 greatly strengthens the alternative aviation fuel initiative. Read more about the recent announcement on the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy blog.

GOL First to Fly Commercially on Amyris-Total Jet Fuel

8 August 2014--Last week on July 30, 2014, Brazilian airline, GOL, made the first commercial flight with the newly ASTM-certified, Amyris-Total alternative aviation fuel. GOL’s Boeing 737 flew from Orlando, Florida to Sao Paulo, Brazil with a blend of Amyris-Total’s farnesane, which can improve local air quality near airports and cities by reducing particulate matter emissions. Additionally, farnesane can achieve an 80% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction relative to petroleum fuels. At this time, farnesane can be blended up to 10% with conventional jet fuel. For more information about the flight, see the press release and video on Amyris’ website.

CAAFI Welcomes Two New Team Leads

24 July 2014--CAAFI welcomes Rob Myrben (A4A - Airlines for America) as co-chair of the CAAFI Business Team, and Gurhan Andac (GE Aviation) as tri-chair of the CAAFI R&D Team (see their bios on the Leadership page). CAAFI would like to thank the departing R&D Team tri-chair lead Mike Epstein of GE Aviation for all his contributions over the past several years. CAAFI is also thankful to John Heimlich, Vice President and Chief Economist at A4A, for co-chairing the Business Team for the past two years. John continues to recognize the growing importance of airline engagement in the alternative fuels space, and was key in creating the new role at A4A (Senior Managing Director – Fuel Optimization) that enables Rob Myrben to provide enhanced focus and leadership to the CAAFI Business Team. John remains an engaged thought-leader for CAAFI through his participation with the CAAFI Steering Group.

“Farm to Fly 2.0” State Initiatives Making Progress

14 July 2014--The first half of 2014 was a period of significant successes on the East Coast relating to the "Farm to Fly 2.0" (F2F2) initiative, an agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue to work together to advance the use of renewable fuels in the aviation industry. Three projects in Vermont and South Carolina have received particular media attention over the last week. Projects in both states are funded by the USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).

In Vermont, GSR Solutions President Anju Dahiya and her team released the RBEG outcomes of a fuel conversion project at a dairy farm site—Nordic Farms—in Charlotte, Vermont. The results were announced to USDA, State Government and local business officials at a team meeting and press event on July 9. Feasibility study outcomes demonstrated positive yields for dairy and beer brewery waste-fed heterotrophic and mixotrophic algal biofuel compared to current production baselines. In addition, the process showed the potential for positive energy balance and the production of important granular time release nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer as a co-product to fight the local water pollution problems caused by liquid fertilizer runoff. Plans to move the project into a pilot phase were also released. The event was covered by the local NBC affiliate, the VT Digger, and Vermont Public Radio.

In addition, two South Carolina projects recently received RBEGs to assess the feasibility of woody biomass based biofuels (in Clarendon County) and algae based biofuels (in Colleton County). The acceptance of these two projects was publicized in a July 9 announcement. Both projects are centered on South Carolina's I-95 corridor, a major target for economic development.

What do the World Cup and alternative aviation fuels have in common?

11 July 2014--They are both happening in Brazil this year! The World Cup may be coming to a close this weekend, but the excitement around alternative aviation fuels is not. The Brazilian national team has made headlines in the aviation community over the past month because of the team’s travel from one game to the next. They have been flying with Brazilian airline, GOL, on green jet fuel that was supplied by Honeywell UOP (read more here). In other recent Honeywell UOP news, the company announced that its technology was selected by Petrixo Oil & Gas to produce 500,000 metric tons of green fuel per year at the anticipated Petrixo biorefinery in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

Back to Brazil, Amyris—the producer of the new ASTM-certified, SIP fuel—announced earlier in the week that GOL Airlines will be the first to fly on a blend of their fuel from the United States to Brazil later this month. Read the full article here.

Department of Energy Offering $4B in Renewable Energy Support

7 July 2014--The DOE, looking to build on past successes enabled by their Loan Programs Office, has announced a new wave of funding for potential loan guarantees. The Department will focus on projects which include Advanced Grid Integration & Storage, Drop-In Biofuels, Waste-to-Energy, Enhancement of Existing Facilities, and Efficiency Improvement (described in further detail in Loan Programs Office press release). The first part of the application will be due on October 1, 2014. Those interested in learning more about the opportunity can visit the Renewable Energy & Efficient Energy Projects Solicitation page.

Interview with Steve Csonka on Airplane Geeks Podcast

2 July 2014--Airplane Geeks Podcast just released its 305th podcast, which features an interview with CAAFI Executive Director, Steve Csonka. The segment covers the work effort of the CAAFI coalition, and the progress, logistics and challenges related to alternative aviation fuels. Listen to the podcast here.

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