US airline JetBlue deal to buy about 10 million gallons of HEFA biojet fuel per year for 10 years
JetBlue Airways, a US low cost airline, will be buying biofuels from biofuel provider SG Preston for at least 10 years, in a deal announced recently. JetBlue will buy over 33 million gallons of blended jet fuel per year, consisting of 30% hydro-processed esters and fatty-acids (HEFA) renewable jet fuel blended with 70% traditional Jet-A fuel. JetBlue expects to take first delivery of the fuel in 2019. Financial terms of the purchase agreement were not released. There is no indication of the feedstock from which this fuel will be made, but it is thought that SG Preston are currently building a 120m gallon HVO/HEFA refinery in Ohio, so this is where the JetBlue’s biofuels will come from. This will be SG Preston’s first HVO refinery. The feedstock is not likely to be palm oil, but some could come from soya. JetBlue has committed to meeting both RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials) and EPA RFS Standards. Some of the possible feedstocks for the EPS’s approved pathways for renewable fuel processed by Trans-Esterification are: Soybean oil; Oil from annual covercrops; Oil from algae grown photosynthetically; Biogenic waste oils /fats /greases; Non-food grade corn oil; Camelina sativa oil; crop residue, pre-commercial thinnings and tree residue, switchgrass, miscanthus, energy cane, separated garden waste; and cellulosic components of annual covercrops.
JetBlue to purchase 10 years’ worth of “renewable” jet fuel
JetBlue Joins The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials
As the First U.S. Airline Member, JetBlue Joins this Coalition of Global Companies to Research the Sustainability of Aviation Biofuels —
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–JetBlue Airways today announced it has joined The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). As the first U.S. airline member, JetBlue joins 100 other like-minded organizations in creating a market and standard for sustainable biomass and bio-based products. The RSB is an independent and global multi-stakeholder coalition which works to promote the sustainability of biomaterials. JetBlue will participate in discussions relating to the aviation sector.
“Biofuels are inevitable for the future of the aviation industry. We know we have to start laying the groundwork today as an investment in our future,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue. “In order to make this work, businesses globally need to join together for a low-carbon future.”
The airline is actively researching alternative fuel sources and firmly believes in their necessity to secure the future of the aviation industry. JetBlue has committed to a biofuels plan in 2017 that will bring future biofuels to JetBlue and create cooperation among commercial carriers. With RSB’s guidance, JetBlue will join a consortium of corporate citizens and airlines pursuing multiple sources of biofuels that minimize unwanted environmental and social impacts throughout their supply-chain and life-cycle.
“JetBlue is joining The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials as renewable biofuels will become increasingly more important for aviation to continue to grow responsibly,” Mendelsohn said. “Science has given us drop-in biofuels, which means there will be no change to our engines or systems – and no compromise to safety. There are no silver bullets when it comes to finding the right biofuel, so we are reaching out for partners; we are all in this together.”
In 2016, JetBlue began actively exploring the purchase of biofuel options for commercial use and was the only airline to sign the White House’s 2015 American Business Act on Climate Pledge, highlighting its support for an international climate agreement toward a low-carbon, sustainable future. JetBlue also pledged to reduce global emissions from commercial air travel in partnership with aircraft and engine manufacturers, the Federal Aviation Administration, and others.
“RSB is the world’s strongest standard for sustainable biofuels. JetBlue is a leader in global aviation and by joining RSB, JetBlue is further demonstrating its leadership by committing to using sustainable fuels in its operations,” said Rolf Hogan, executive director, The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials. “We look forward to seeing other airlines follow JetBlue’s commitment and leadership by becoming members of RSB.”
JetBlue has already pledged to:
- Support and invest in new technology to decrease flight emissions through more efficient operations. JetBlue has already committed approximately $20 million for mandated technology and will continue to supplement that effort for additional investment of $30 million for capabilities in data and long-range satellite based communications to improve flying efficiency. With these investments JetBlue aims to save over 500,000 gallons of fuel burn per year within 30% of our schedule operation. This objective and more emissions savings will be possible if the Federal Aviation Administration complements our investment with infrastructure, procedural changes and controller training in the Caribbean region.
- Act on and contribute to industry-wide goals to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020; target a cap on net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth); and reduce net aviation CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. [This means by carbon trading, and a bit of biofuels, if the industry can actually find a biofuel that genuinely does no environmental or social harm, in sufficient quantities …. there is nothing like that at present. AW note]
- Develop a biofuel commitment in 2017 for use in our regular commercial operations in the future.
- Transition our wholly-owned ground service equipment to electric ground service equipment where it is safe for our airport operations.
RSB verifies that biomaterials are ethical, sustainable and credibly-sourced. Choosing RSB-certified biomaterials helps supports a healthy bio-based community.
JetBlue’s Sustainability Focus – JetBlue believes in communicating transparently about climate change. The airline is committed to taking steps to address the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from its flights and JetBlue empowers and inspires its customers and crewmembers to offset GHG emissions when they fly. The airline is constantly looking for ways to become more fuel efficient and embrace efficient technologies. For example, JetBlue planes feature Airbus’ Sharklets, which improve aerodynamics and cut fuel burn and emissions. For more on JetBlue’s work to reduce emissions, visitjetblue.com/green.
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™ and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 32 million customers a year to 95 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 900 daily flights. For more information, please visit JetBlue.com.
About the RSB
The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is an independent and global multi-stakeholder coalition which works to promote the sustainability of biomaterials. RSB’s user-friendly certification scheme is the strongest and most trusted of its kind. It verifies that biomaterials are ethical, sustainable and credibly-sourced. The certification is approved by RSB’s members, including leading NGOs and UN agencies. RSB members work across sectors to set global best practice for sustainable biomaterial production. Choosing RSB-certified biomaterials helps build trust and credibility in the bio-based sector and supports a healthy bio-based community. www.rsb.org
“Biomass has the potential to transform the U.S. energy supply in a renewable and sustainable way well into the foreseeable future.”
“A variety of biomass feedstocks are currently used to generate electricity and produce heat and liquid transportation fuels.”
The Biomass and Bioenergy Relationship
Biomass has the potential to transform the U.S. energy supply in a renewable and sustainable way well into the foreseeable future.
Most of the world’s energy comes from burning fossil fuels like petroleum, coal, and natural gas. These fuels provide the energy we need today, but developing sustainable alternatives is the key to the future.
Although biomass use ranks well below petroleum, natural gas, and coal in usage, it has historically surpassed hydroelectric and other renewable sources of energy.
A variety of biomass feedstocks are currently used to generate electricity and produce heat and liquid transportation fuels. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), biomass contributes nearly 3.9 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) and accounts for more than four percent of total U.S. primary energy consumption today (EIA, 2010a).
It is estimated that 100,000 chemicals form the basis for most everyday products. All of these are derived from seven core chemicals, which are in turn largely derived from crude oil and other non-renewable sources. Biomass can be used to create these chemicals instead, at a lower cost to manufacturers and the environment.
With integrated solutions for the production of energy and fuels from biomass, SG Preston is working to accelerate the industrial scale commercialization of bioenergy products in markets around the world.
Comment from Biofuelwatch:
SG Preston are currently building a 120m gallon HVO/HEFA refinery in Ohio, so this is where the JetBlue’s biofuels will come from. This will be SG Preston’s first HVO refinery and it is not possible to find out at this stage what the feedstock will be. However, it’s unlikely to be palm oil: According to the articles, JetBlue has committed to meeting both RSB and EPA RFS standards. There is no legal requirement for airlines in the US to apply the EPA’s RFS [US Environmental Protection Agency Renewable Fuel Standard ] rules, but obviously this one has chosen to do so.
The EPA’s RFS covers various Approved Pathways: https://www.epa.gov/