Oslo airport, Statoil and SkyNRG attempting to promote “sustainable” jet fuels from wood residues & wastes
Oslo airport is hoping to get regular deliveries of biofuel, so it becomes available much of the time. Avinor, which owns the airport, has signed an agreement with Statoil Aviation. The plan is for Statoil to start delivering biofuel in March 2015, with 2,5 million liters in the first year. Biofuel is only ever used as 50% of the fuel mix in any flight. Currently the only biofuel available comes from used cooking oil. However there are plans to explore the possibility of forest-based large-scale production of aviation bio-fuel. But that is still a long way off, especially for biofuel comparable in price to conventional jet kerosene, the price of which has fallen recently. Aviation biofuel proponents are keen to get both production and use up, to get the price down. Whether biomass comes from forestry work, or wood waste, it is very far from sustainable. The nutrients in wood products need to be returned to the soils in which they grew, to maintain fertility. Biofuels are not carbon neutral, as the presumption that all the carbon emitted on burning is rapidly reabsorbed by vegetation is wrong. Regrowing an equivalent sized tree, and sequestering the carbon, in reality could take decades.
Oslo becomes first bio-jet fuel hub
November 19, 2014 (Air Traffic Management)
by Aimee Turner
Avinor’s Oslo Airport will become the world’s first hub to receive regular deliveries of bio-fuel.
It’s also the first time that sustainable bio jet fuel will be used in the hydrant system of the airport.
“We are proud to take on the task of bringing greener aviation one important step forward,” says Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen about the agreement signed with Statoil Aviation.
The plan is to start delivering biofuel already in March 2015, and that Statoil Aviation will deliver 2,5 million liters of sustainable bio-fuel to the tank facility at Oslo Airport in the first 12 months. This corresponds to approximately 3,000 flights between Oslo and Bergen with a 50 per cent bio-fuel mix.
While the initial bio-fuel deliveries will probably come from used cooking oil, major players in the Norwegian power and forestry industries are now exploring the possibility of forest-based large-scale production of bio-fuel for aviation in the course of a few short years.
“It’s not out of the question that we in Norway could achieve large-scale production of sustainable aviation bio-fuel at a competitive price in 2020,” says Falk-Petersen.
“I’m proud that Oslo Airport will be the first hub in the world to offer our customers regular deliveries of bio-fuel. Along with our many other measures, this will represent an additional boost to our climate and environmental work,” said Oslo airport managing director Øyvind Hasaas regarding the news, which will be launched globally at a major conference in Dubai on 19 November.
“This is a good start towards developing a market for aviation bio-fuel. The fact that Avinor is contributing to making Oslo Airport the first hub in the world where all airlines have the opportunity to use bio-fuel illustrates that a green change is possible. At the same time, it’s important that the authorities step up with policy instruments that promote greater use of bio-fuel in aviation,” said head of the environmental foundation ZERO, Marius Holm.
”Statoil Aviation has now taken biofuel from tests and promotions to real business. We are proud to offer the airlines biofuels as part of their normal operation at Oslo Airport for the first time. Signing supply contracts with airlines which include biofuels drop-in is a real breakthrough in the aviation industry, and another important step for a better environment. I want to say ‘thank you’ to Avinor, SkyNRG and the participating airlines which have made this possible,” says Vice President at Statoil Aviation, Thorbjörn Larsson.
To date, Statoil Aviation has entered into agreements with Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines), SAS and KLM for deliveries of bio-fuel at Oslo Airport.
There are currently two concrete industrial Norwegian initiatives for production of bio-fuel: Statkraft and Södra at Tofte in Hurum, and Viken Skog / Treklyngen at Follum in Hønefoss.
Both projects are now looking into the possibility of producing both bio-diesel, which is needed in the heavy transport sector, and the bio-jet fuel needed in aviation. A single bio-fuel plant can produce enough bio-jet fuel and bio-diesel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Norwegian aviation by 10-15 per cent, and can yield major emission cuts in road transport.
Bio-fuel production could become a win-win situation for Norway by providing reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased value creation from forests – an important step towards a sustainable industry in Norway and a shift towards the renewable zero discharge society.
SkyNRG Nordic Supplies Biofuel to SAS and Norwegian
(SkyNRG Nordic) SAS and Norwegian operate their first commercial flights on SkyNRG Nordic’s bio jet fuel. Today, SAS flies on bio jet fuel from Trondheim to Oslo and Norwegian from Bergen to Oslo. The bio-flights in Norway are done in close cooperation with ZERO and Avinor and are on the occasion of the annual ZERO Emissions Conference.
SkyNRG Nordic, the partnership between SkyNRG and Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation, has the mission to make the Nordic region the first in the world where all flights are operated on biofuel. Both flights highlight the increased cooperation in the area of bio jet fuel in the Nordic and the willingness to move towards substantial volumes in the coming years.
To catalyze the development of bio jet fuel in the Nordics, SkyNRG established the Fly Green Fund. This fund is set up for corporates in the Nordic that wish to fly more sustainable by operating a part of their staff travel on bio jet fuel. Similar to the KLM Corporate Biofuel Programme, that was co-developed by SkyNRG in 2012, the aim of the Fly Green Fund is to create scale, bridge the current premium for bio jet fuel and to enable investments in the development of sustainable bio jet fuel production from forestry residues and waste in the Nordics.
‘These flights can be considered as a warm up for our big plans next year in the Nordic market. With help from our partners and corporate clients, we believe that we can get to substantial volumes in the next two years,’ says Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO SkyNRG.
Thorbjörn Larsson, Vice President at Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation states: ‘Another important step on the journey towards greener aviation. Biofuels for aviation are available here and now and I am proud that Statoil Aviation, together with SkyNRG Nordic, are the leading fuel suppliers of biofuels in the Nordic.’
‘The Nordic countries are well suited to drive this development, but it requires the involvement of everyone in the entire value chain from raw material supplier, manufacturers, to the passenger. With our innovative co-funding model, The Fly Green Fund, we will involve the end customer in a meaningful and critical way,’ says Maria Fiskerud Nordic director SkyNRG.
‘That the major airlines in the Nordics are starting to fly on bio jet fuel sends an important signal to the international aviation community. Bio jet fuel exists and the more the product is used, the easier it becomes to increase the volume of production and to realize a competitive price,’ says Peter Landmark CEO Karlstad Airport. ‘After organizing the first bio jet fuel flights in Sweden with SkyNRG Nordic, we will step up our effort by providing bio jet fuel on a continued basis in 2015.’
SkyNRG’s mission is to create sustainable fuels for those transport segments for which sustainable fuel is the best green alternative in the foreseeable future: aviation, marine and heavy trucking. Short term, the company is executing this mission via co-funded green routes and long term via developing BioPorts, these are regional supply chains that offer a real sustainable and affordable alternative for fossil fuels. SkyNRG uses multiple technologies that are best suited for that particular region in the world and is supported by its leading global sustainability and technology board.
SkyNRG is the world’s market leader for bio jet fuel, supplying more than 20 airlines worldwide. Since 2011 the company is expanding into the marine and heavy trucking sustainable diesel segment as well. Learn more about SkyNRG at www.skynrg.com
Extract about some problems of using wood waste for biofuels:
(2011 – from Science, Law and the Environment)
While there is a huge amount of potential biofuel feedstock in Washington’s forests, and removing that feedstock would potentially be very good for the forest, making it cost effective to use forest biomass for energy generation is an economic challenge. The problem is that the forest biomass is spread diffusely across the forest, and concentrating it and then hauling it to a central processing location (refinery) can take a very large share of the energy the biomass contains.
Indeed the reason fossil fuels are so attractive economically is that they are the product of a few billion years of the earth concentrating dead plants, turning them into very concentrated energy sources. Electricity co-generation has become economically viable at mills turning logs into structural lumber or other solid wood products, but co-generation works there because the scrap that is burned to create electricity had to be hauled from the woods in order to make the 2 X 4s and plywood that are the central purpose of the mill, and would have to be disposed of if it weren’t burned to create electricity.
The forest biomass that is a potential feedstock for aviation biofuel, by contrast, doesn’t have a high-value solid wood product associated with it. The potential biofuel feedstock is slash left after a commercial harvest, trees removed in pre-commercial thinning of overstocked young stands, and massive areas of dead or dying trees that have been subject to mountain pine beetle attacks across the inland West. That material needs to be removed from the forest so that the forest can be managed for better commercial forest production and wildlife attributes. If left in the woods, it will either rot, releasing methane gas, or burn, releasing all its carbon as carbon dioxide. But that biomass currently stays in the forest precisely because there is no solid wood product that can be made of it which would justify hauling it to a mill.
The issue of sustainability is also serious.
As with any form of “agriculture,” removing all the biomass from one crop of trees, and then another, and then another, could quickly deplete forest soils of essential nutrients. We don’t know, and probably cannot know for a while, exactly what the consequences for sustainability are on the mass removal of forest biomass from the forest. We do know that leaving all the biomass in place in overstocked and dead forest areas has negative consequences – so there is no “free” choice here. Today ash from co-generation facilities is typically spread back on the forest floor, to return minerals to the soil. Whether that is an adequate response or will have adverse consequences is something that time and research will need to tell us.
One of the solutions to these problems that researchers are reportedly working on is to create a small, mobile processing unit that could do the initial processing of biomass into a liquor in the woods. The liquor would then be hauled to a refinery for further refining. The processed liquor would be more concentrated energy than raw biomass, and hauling a tank car of liquor to a refinery would potentially be more economical than hauling unprocessed biomass. At the same time, the waste from that initial processing could be spread back on the forest floor, without having to be hauled from a central refinery or processing area. If the mobile processing unit was truly mobile, when one area was cleared of unwanted forest biomass, the processing unit could be moved to a new location, so that raw biomass never needed to be hauled any significant distance. If such a mobile processing unit can be developed, it may provide the breakthrough to bring the cost of aviation biofuel from forest biomass down to commercially viable levels.
Need to assure sustainable harvest practices are used to avoid significant negative impacts on soils, water resources, natural habitats and vulnerable human communities. North Americans need to move beyond thinking of “trees” and consider the forest as a complete ecosystem.
As a recent article in the ECOreport asked, “What does it take to keep such a system healthy, thriving and able to maintain its long-term ability to provide those benefits we desire?”
“The last thing we want to do is to go from a reliance on non-sustainable fossil fuels to developing biofuels that aren’t sustainable,’’ saysIvan Eastin, professor at University of Washington and director for the Center for International Trade in Forest Products.
A number of approaches are being evaluated: using forest residues that come from thinning, forest restoration, or fire hazard reductions; municipal solid waste; mill residues; and timber harvested specifically for bio-based energy products.
Greg Johnson, director of forest research at Weyerhaeuser Company, stressed the availability of branches, ends of logs and pieces left after logging.
A NARA spokesperson mentioned the necessity of leaving some waste on the ground, where it can furnish nutrients to the forest.