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Alaska Airlines to fly first commercial flight with cellulosic renewable jet fuel in ‘next few months’

Gevo has completed production of 1,000 gallons of the world's first cellulosic renewable jet fuel that is specified for commercial flights.

Gevo successfully adapted its patented technologies to convert cellulosic sugars derived from wood waste into renewable isobutanol, which was then further converted into Gevo's Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) fuel., which meets the ASTM D7566 specification allowing it to be used for commercial flights.

The revisions to the ASTM D7566 specification, which occurred earlier this year, includes ATJ derived from renewable isobutanol, regardless of the carbohydrate feedstock (i.e. cellulosics, corn, sugar cane, and molasses).

Alaska Airlines is expected to fly the first commercial flight using the fuel in the next few months, which would be the first ever commercial flight flown with a cellulosic renewable jet fuel.

"I have long championed the development of commercial jet fuel made from renewable sources. It was what we first envisioned when the Virgin Green Fund invested in Gevo with the aim of developing fuel from cellulosic materials such as wood waste," said Sir Richard Branson. 

The flight on the back of two other commercial flights that were flown by Alaska Airlines on Gevo's ATJ in June of this year.

The ATJ for the June flights was derived from isobutanol produced at Gevo's Luverne, Minnesota, production facility using sustainable corn as the sugar feedstock.

The cellulosic ATJ was produced in conjunction with the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), who supplied the sugars that were derived from forest residuals in the Pacific Northwest.

Gevo produced the cellulosic renewable isobutanol at its demonstration facility in St. Joseph, Missouri, that it jointly operates with ICM.

The isobutanol was then transported to Gevo's biorefinery facility in Silsbee, Texas, that Gevo operates with South Hampton Resources, where it was converted into ATJ.