Archived News

Investment in Red Rock Moves Aviation Biofuels Closer to Cost Parity

17 April 2015 – Construction on the first commercial scale refinery in Lakeview, Oregon has been boosted through a strategic partnership between Flagship Ventures and Red Rock Biofuels. Construction on the $182 million project is set to begin in summer 2015. Last year, Red Rock received $70 million to fund the project from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Navy under the Defense Production Act with the goal of building production capacity of cost-competitive, renewable jet fuel capacity to 100 million gallons. Southwest Airlines has already agreed to purchase 3 million gallons/year of Red Rock’s jet fuel that is developed from waste biomass from forests and sawmills. The goal is to have the refinery complete and running at the end of 2015.
Read the full article here.

Navy’s Rocky Mountain/ West Coast / Offshore Solicitation with Alternative Fuel Blends is Posted

The Navy’s Rocky Mountain/ West Coast / Offshore (RMW) Solicitation is now posted on the FedBizOpps website. This solicitation from the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy (DLA-Energy) is for fuel deliveries from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016. Vendors can submit bids with a minimum of 10% alternative fuel up to the maximum allowed in the fuel specifications. The two approved pathways are FT and HEFA. The response date is May 8, 2015 3:00 pm Eastern. Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds will be available to defray additional costs of producing biofuel. Details regarding CCC funds availability are explained in the solicitation in the biofuel production incentive clause. To be eligible for CCC funding, the fuel must contain at least 10% biofuel to a maximum as permitted by the JP-5 and F-76 specifications and be produced using domestic feedstocks approved by the USDA for CCC eligibility.

The Secretary of the Navy has set a goal that by 2020 half of all the Department of the Navy's energy will come from alternative sources. To support that goal, in June 2011, the Department of the Navy (DON), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to "assist the development and support of a sustainable commercial biofuels industry." Under the MOU, the USDA agreed to provide funding through the CCC. As part of the regular bulk procurement for the RMW Program, this solicitation is designed to assist the DON in meeting its goals to increase the use of biofuels.

To view the solicitation click here.

Biofuels Digest Acknowledges Significant Progress in Alternative Jet Fuel Arena in Recent Article

26 March 2015 – Biofuels Digest recently highlighted the progress being made in the alternative jet fuel industry. The article focused on the activities of the military and aviation community as they move toward important deployment activities and other representative actions that demonstrate the momentum behind the alternative jet fuel efforts. The article makes the point that although some members of the industry are making deployment plans, R&D activities continue, such as commercial joint research centers on feedstock production, economic viability, and processing technologies and collaborative research efforts by the U.S. Navy. Read the full BioFuels Digest article here.

Chinese Aviation Community Celebrates First Biofuel Passenger Flight

24 March 2015 – Boeing, Hainan Airlines, and Sinopec’s collaborative effort resulted in China’s first passenger flight powered by a biofuel/jet fuel blend. The flight carried 100 passengers from Shanghai to Beijing with fuel composed of 50% biofuel processed from cooking oil collected in restaurants and 50% conventional jet fuel. Read the full article here.

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.

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