Alaska Airlines to fly on Gevo’s cellulosic renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel

US biofuels company Gevo has announced that the first commercial flight using Gevo's cellulosic renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) is expected to take place today originating in Seattle and flying to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Previously, on 11 October 2016, Gevo announced that it had completed production 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 its ATJ.

This ATJ meets the ASTM D7566 specification allowing it to be used for commercial flights. The cellulosic ATJ was produced in conjunction with the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance ("NARA").

NARA supplied the sugars that were derived from forest residuals in the Pacific Northwest. Gevo produced the cellulosic renewable isobutanol in St. Joseph, Missouri.  The cellulosic renewable isobutanol was then transported to Gevo's biorefinery facility in Silsbee, Texas, where the cellulosic renewable isobutanol was converted into ATJ.

Today's (14 November 2016) flight follows on the back of the two 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 the Gevo's facility in Luverne, MN, using sustainable corn as the sugar feedstock.

In a statement, Gevo said that it believed that its renewable ATJ has the potential to offer the most optimized operating cost, capital cost, low-carbon potential, feedstock availability, scalability, and translation across geographies, as compared to other renewable jet fuel options.

"This first of its kind flight demonstrates Gevo's commitment and ability to convert next generation cellulosic feedstocks into fungible hydrocarbons,” " said Pat Gruber, Gevo's CEO.

He added: “We are pleased that we had the opportunity to prove, through the NARA project, that cellulosic sugars from wood can be used to successfully make commercial jet fuel.  We congratulate all of our fellow NARA partners and thank the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, for its unwavering support in the pursuit of renewable jet fuel.  I also thank Alaska Airlines, who continues to be a great partner.”


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