ALASKA AIRLINES FLIES FIRST COMMERCIAL FLIGHT WITH NEW BIOFUEL MADE FROM FOREST RESIDUAL
On November 14, 2016, Alaska Airlines made the world’s first commercial flight using a new sustainable alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals
from the Pacific Northwest – the limbs, stumps and branches that are left over after a timber harvest or forest thinning of managed forests on private land.
The flight departed from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., powered by a 20% blend of the new, sustainable biofuel sourced directly from the Pacific Northwest.
The fuel for the flight was produced by the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA)
: 32 member organizations from the academia, aviation, private industry, and the government, that came together under a USDA grant to demonstrate the viability of producing alternative jet fuel from forest residuals. Gevo, Inc., a NARA partner, 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
: believed to be the world’s first alternative jet fuel produced from wood, the fuel meets international ASTM standards, allowing it to be used safely for commercial flights. Using forest residuals
for biofuel feedstock does not compete with food production; air pollution is cut by reducing slash pile burning; removal of residuals prepares the forest floor for replanting; and the new industry of woody biomass collection and conversion helps create jobs in rural economies. Also, forest residuals are abundant and can be sustainably supplied from private lands.
Sustainable alternative jet fuels reduce greenhouse gas emission
by 50-80% over the lifecycle of the fuel- from growth of the feedstock, transportation to a processing facility and production. This flight will emit approximately 70% less CO2 than conventional petroleum jet. [from: https://blog.alaskaair.com/alaska-airlines/news/nara-flight/