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DOE BETO Issues Notices of Intent for Algal-Based Biofuels and Biorefinery Optimization Funding Opportunities

5 December 2016 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to release a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the development of technologies, tools, and approaches to advance the production of algal-based biofuels. The FOA, “Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits (PEAK),” will offer up to $8 million in funding for eligible projects.

EERE also issued another NOI on behalf of BETO and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for a FOA to support research and development of “Integrated Biorefinery Optimization.” Specifically, the goal of the FOA is to increase the performance efficiencies of biorefineries to improve the commercialization process of biofuels.

For more information on the FOAs, once released, refer to the CAAFI Funding Opportunities webpage.

CAAFI’s Environment Team hosts second SOAP-Jet webinar, “Social Elements of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel Systems: Assessment and Applications”

21 November 2016--The CAAFI Environment Team held its second Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum – Jet (SOAP-Jet) webinar on Friday, November 18th. The event was well attended by approximately 70 people. This webinar was the second in a series that communicates progress and challenges associated with alternative aviation fuels and assessment of environmental and sustainability impacts. The webinar series is intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel community to share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies in order to promote knowledge and communication among stakeholders.

Mike Gaffney (WSU) and Paul Smith (PSU) described their social science research on SAJF stakeholders and communities, which is being conducted as part of the ASCENT 01 project by a cross-disciplinary team from Washington State University and Pennsylvania State University. They also discussed applications for that research, and implications for this and future projects. Included in the discussion was the “Refinery to Wing” assessment of stakeholder perspectives on SAJF supply chain implementation and the Community Attribute and Asset Model (CAAM). These two research projects provide useful insight into decision-making, strategic engagement of stakeholders and communities, and the vital role of social components in successful implementation, sustainability and resilience.

You can access the slide deck from this past Friday’s SOAP-Jet webinar, here.

Additional presentations will be scheduled for the first half of 2017. To learn more about the SOAP-Jet series or to share your ideas for future SOAP-Jet webinars, contact Kristin Lewis (Kristin.lewis@dot.gov).

Alaska Airlines Flies Commercial Demonstration Flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C. on Gevo Forest Residue-Based SAJF

17 November 2016 – On November 14th, Alaska Airlines flew the first commercial demonstration flight on a 20% forest residual-based sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) produced by Gevo, Inc. Departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and landing at Reagan National Airport, the 1,080 gallons of Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) fuel used on the flight was made possible through efforts from the Washington State University (WSU) led Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, which supplied the forest residuals to Gevo who produced the SAJF.

Alaska Airlines says it could reduce its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 142,000 metric tons if it replaced 20% of its overall fuel supply at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with SAJF. Gevo and Alaska Airlines also flew two other successful ATJ SAJF fueled flights earlier this year on corn-based SAJF.

For more information on the Gevo/Alaska Airlines forest residue-based SAJF demonstration flight, refer to the Gevo press release and the WSU news story.

BP Ventures and Air BP Businesses Announce $30 Million Investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy

8 November 2016 – Today, BP announced an investment of $30 million in the sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) producer, Fulcrum BioEnergy, for its continuing production of SAJF from municipal solid waste. Additionally, BP and Fulcrum confirmed a 10-year offtake agreement for 50 million gallons per year from Fulcrum’s production plants across North America currently under development. Air BP will distribute Fulcrum BioEnergy SAJF to aircrafts at select airports around the country.

For more information on BP’s recent investment and offtake agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, refer to the BP press release.

Monarca and AvStar in Discussions to Distribute Over 30 MG of Alternative Jet Fuel to North American Aviation Market

7 November 2016 – Monarca, a Mexico-based sustainable alternative jet fuel (AJF) producer, is currently in the process of planning a new sustainable AJF project in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The plant is intended to produce over 30 million gallons of sustainable AJF for Mexico’s Federal Aviation Services as well as for business jets in the United States. Monarca is currently in discussions with AvStar Aviation Services, based in Houston, Texas, to be its sole AJF distributer for U.S. aviation clients.

For more information, refer to the Monarca and AvStar press release.

2016 CAAFI General Meeting Connects Industry Partners and Highlights Advancements and Opportunities in Alternative Jet Fuel Deployment!

4 November 2016 – Last week’s 2016 CAAFI® Biennial General Meeting (CBGM) in Washington, DC was a great success, hosting over 200 participants, 48% of whom were first time attendees to a CBGM. If you attended the conference, thank you for making it an event to remember! The meeting included presentations and panelists from leading equipment manufacturers, fuel producers, airlines, and numerous government agencies. A variety of collaborative discussions also took place on the sidelines of the CBGM, including explorations between buyers and potential sellers of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF).

The CBGM attendees were also honored to hear from VIP keynote speakers from the U.S. Navy, USDA, JetBlue, FAA, and NASA who offered praise on our progress to date, and encouragement and support for the challenges remaining to bring SAJF to commercial aviation. As evidenced by the progress and accomplishments discussed by the additional speakers and panelists at the meeting, the CAAFI community is making great strides in the deployment of SAJF. Stakeholders working in the public or private sector and all along the supply chain attended the CBGM, and their work is helping expand and strengthen CAAFI’s catalysis of the development and commercial deployment of SAJF for the aviation enterprise.

If you were not able to make it to CBGM or would like to review any presentations from the event, all materials are available on the CAAFI Presentations website.

ICAO Achieves Historic Agreement for Aviation: World’s First Market-Based Measure Deal to Mitigate Carbon Dioxide Emissions from an Entire Industrial Sector

7 October 2016—191 member states attending the 39th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) General Assembly, agreed to the creation of a new global market-based measure to aid in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from international air travel. This historic agreement to implement a Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is the first global climate deal covering an entire industrial sector. CORSIA is set to begin in 2021 with a voluntary period until 2027 when it becomes mandatory. The United States, China and 62 other nations that account for 84 percent of international air traffic have agreed to participate in the voluntary period. The agreement is aligned with, and an important step toward, the industry’s goals of carbon neutral growth from 2020 and to reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2005 historical levels. The agreement also outlines the need for continued development and commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuels for adoption by the sector as one of several primary means to achieving net carbon dioxide emissions reductions.

CAAFI congratulates ICAO and its working teams on the development and approval of the CORSIA agreement, and CAAFI will continue to actively pursue the development and commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuel.

Read more about this historic agreement here.

New USDA Report Quantifies Benefits of Biobased Products to U.S. Economy

5 October 2016—This week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of a new report highlighting the substantial economic activity being generated by the growth of the U.S. biobased industry. In 2014, the biobased industry contributed a total of 4.2 million (direct and indirect) jobs and $393 billion dollars to the U.S. economy.

The report examined seven sectors of the industry: agriculture and forestry, biorefining, biobased chemicals, enzymes, bioplastic bottles and packaging, forest products, and textiles. “Better economic opportunities, like those offered by biobased product manufacturers, are creating wealth in rural America. The rural unemployment rate has dropped below 6 percent for the first time since 2007, and from 2012-2014, we saw rural child poverty fall by 3 percentage points.”

The report is available of the USDA BioPreferred® site here.

CAAFI’s R&D Team Kicks off the Fourth SOAP-Jet Webinar Series Focusing on Deployment and State Initiative Activities

23 September 2016 – Rich Altman, CAAFI’s Executive Director Emeritus, and Ben Devries, Treasure Coast Education and Research Park CEO, gave the kickoff presentations for the fourth series of Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum (SOAP)-Jet webinars hosted by CAAFI’s R&D Team. This fourth series of webinars will focus on CAAFI’s deployment and state initiative activities. The webinars are intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel R&D community to discuss technology and related gaps and challenges, share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies in order to promote communication among stakeholders.

The webinar was well attended by more than 60 participants.

A primary role of the CAAFI/USDA led "Farm to Fly 2.0" resolution (F2F2) is to engage and encourage local and regional supply chain development, from growers / feedstock source and engaging processors to end customers and key stakeholders (e.g. Environmental NGO's and local government and private interests). In the first of three planned webinars, Rich Altman provided an overview of East Coast initiatives from Vermont to Florida. In the first of five case studies, Ben Devries explained the rationale, development and progress of efforts to replace citrus farming (lost to citrus greening disease) with an energy-crop supply-chain featuring major airline and DOD customers and multiple fuel processors.

To view the slide deck from Rich Altman’s presentation click here. To view Ben Devries’ Prezi click here.

Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech Partnership Produces Renewable Jet Fuel from Industrial Waste Gas

22 September 2016 – On September 14, 2016, Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech announced that their partnership has officially led to the production of 1,500 gallons ethanol-to-jet renewable jet fuel. This notice comes after the August 11, 2016, U.S. Department of Energy announcement that Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and LanzaTech successfully produced over five gallons of renewable jet fuel from industrial waste gas. Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech will now work with Boeing to test the ethanol-to-jet fuel in commercial aircraft engines before approved for commercial use in 2017. Additionally, as this is an ethanol-to-jet fuel, it will require approval of a different annex under ASTM D7566. For more information, refer to the Virgin Atlantic release.

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