Norwegian aviation industry hopes for large volumes of biojet fuel from timber and logging residues

A report on possible production of aviation biofuel from Norwegian forests has been published. Conducted by Rambøll,  it was commissioned by Norwegian airport operator Avinor, along with airlines SAS and Norwegian, and the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries.  The report concludes that cost-competitive, large-scale production of aviation biofuels might be viable in Norway between 2020 and 2025. There is, of course, an immense resource of timber in Norway, and of logging residues. The report considers two processes – either Fischer-Tropsch + gasification, or the refining of bio-alcohols to Jet A-1 fuel.  Norway wants to cut its aviation emissions by 10-15% by 2020-25, which would need some 190-250 million litres of biojet fuel.  To produce that amount, there would need to be around 8-10 production plants with an annual output of 50 million litres each. To be profitable the plants would need to have added sales income from biodiesel and bionaphtha byproducts. There are a large number of economic and technological uncertainties about whether this scheme could ever happen, and if it would be financially viable. 

.

 

 

Norwegian aviation industry sees potential in local production of sustainable jet fuels from forest biomass

Norwegian aviation industry sees potential in local production of sustainable jet fuels from forest biomass | Avinor,SAS,Norwegian,Ramboll 

(photo: Viken Skog)

Avinor – download report

Summary report in English 

 


Tue 7 May 2013 (GreenAir online)

A report commissioned by Norwegian airport operator Avinor, along with airlines SAS and Norwegian, and the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries, concludes that cost-competitive, large-scale production of sustainable aviation biofuels could be viable in the country between 2020 and 2025.

The assessment of land-based and marine feedstock in Norway shows that forest biomass is the most important feedstock on a near-term basis, with micro and macroalgae resources most probably not available in large volumes before 2025.

The report, conducted by Rambøll, considers two processes most suitable within the timeframe for a Norwegian value chain:  Fischer-Tropsch (FT) thermochemical processing and gasification of forest biomass, and the refining of bio-alcohols to Jet A-1 fuel (ATJ).

To reach the Norwegian aviation industry’s own 10-15% GHG-reduction targets by 2020-25, 190-250 million litres of renewable Jet A-1 are needed, an amount equal to biomass with an energy content of 6-8 TWh. [ TWh is a terawatt hour, with one terawatt being 1012   watts or 109  kilowatts – ie a billion kilowatts].  

Norwegian timber harvesting volumes towards 2020-25 will most likely remain on today’s level, with a 7 TWh increased harvesting potential, mainly from logging residues. If all of this should be processed, says the report, an amount of 230 million litres of Jet A-1 could be produced, depending on the processing technology utilised.

To produce this amount it would require around 8-10 production plants with an output of 50 million litres each, or fewer if larger ones employed. A feasibility study for suitable plant locations has been performed including the cost of logistics.

The price of FT-based Jet A-1 can be competitive with conventional Jet A-1 by 2025, finds independent consultancy Rambøll, provided there is crucial sales income from biodiesel and bionaphtha byproducts.

The estimated production costs in 2012 are 11 NOK/litre ($1.89/litre) for renewable Jet A-1, which is 5 NOK/litre ($0.86) higher than the present market price for fossil Jet A-1. The production cost is estimated to be 7 NOK/litre ($1.20) in 2025, broadly comparable with fossil Jet A-1 market forecasts. The income from the byproducts is estimated at 141 million NOK ($24.2m), based on today’s prices, which results in the lower production costs.

Given the economic and technological uncertainty related to sustainable biofuel production, cautions the report, it is necessary to carry out further calculations to estimate the profitability more precisely for a specific production plant.

ATJ, yet to be certified from commercial aviation use, is seen as a more expensive fuel, with current production costs around 27 NOK/litre, and Rambøll says there is not sufficient information about the quantities of byproducts from the process to estimate their sales income. Due to the immature technology and limited available process data, the level of uncertainty is high.

Life-cycle assessments have been calculated on both processes and Rambøll’s results conclude with an 81% climate reduction with FT fuels, compared to a 65% reduction from ATJ fuels, both within the EU 60% reduction sustainability criteria from new biofuel production plants after 2017.

“The technology and resources are available and flights using biofuel as an additive are commonplace, but there are still a number of problems related to production costs and climate impact which have to be resolved,” said Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen. “Even so, the potential for biofuel production from Norwegian forests is so big that Avinor wants to play an active role in finding effective, sustainable solutions.”

Avinor said it was prepared to invest up to NOK 100 million ($17m) over a 10-year period into various projects and studies to help realise biofuel production. It has just signed a Letter of Intent with Viken Skog, a cooperative of Norwegian forest owners, to invest in an innovation centre that is tasked with looking into biofuel production opportunities.

The airport operator said it also envisages a number of incentives for airlines, including discounts, for airlines that want to start using biofuels.

“We have been in dialogue with a number of suppliers since the early 2000s and taken part in a large number of initiatives,” said Rickard Gustafson, CEO at SAS. “We are ready to use biofuels but the price has to be commercially acceptable and sustainability criteria have to be met so that we can reduce the overall GHG emissions of the air travel industry significantly.”

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “The most important thing airlines can do to reduce emissions is to invest in more environmentally-friendly aircraft and to fill our tanks with biofuels. The problem at this time is that biofuel is difficult to get and very expensive. That means the industry’s biggest challenge is to find sustainable, cost-effective solutions which make environmentally-friendly fuels a viable alternative to fossil fuels.”

The Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries (NHO Luftfart) stressed other sources of influence were needed to realise biofuel opportunities.

“The Norwegian air travel industry needs to encourage industry and the authorities to help with the pioneering work needed to reduce GHG emissions from air travel,” said Torbjørn Lothe. “The airlines also want long-term deals for the purchase of biofuels if the price is competitive. Together, such factors open up major industrial opportunities for the Norwegian forestry industry.”

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1688

.

.

.

 

Read more »

NRDC says if airlines use biofuels they must commit only to those certified to internationally recognised standards

The Americal NRDC (the National Resources Defense Council) has produced a survey on the biofuel use of airlines so far. The NRDC argues that the aviation industry has a responsibility to use biofuels that are certified as sustainable (because the sector’s buying power has the potential to reshape the supply chain) and avoid the use of poorly sourced biofuels that drive deforestation and food insecurity. NRDC asked 22 airlines to respond to its questionnaire and got responses from just 12, which the group describes in a report on its findings as “discouraging”. Of those 12, only two airlines have committed to using Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuel (RSB) certification in their sourcing efforts. Of the perhaps 1 million gallons of biofuel used, or more,  research estimated that fewer than 30,000 gallons were deemed sustainable.  ie. perhaps 3%.  NRDC calls on airlines to publicly commit to source only 100% certified sustainable biofuel by 2015.

.

 

Airlines must commit to using biofuels that have been certified to internationally recognised standards, says NRDC report

21 March 2013   (GreenAir online)

Although the entry of airlines into the biofuel marketplace is a significant step in the right direction, the sustainability of this development is of critical importance, says the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The US environmental group argues that the aviation industry has a responsibility to use biofuels that are certified as sustainable because the sector’s buying power has the potential to reshape the supply chain and avoid the use of poorly sourced biofuels that drive deforestation and food insecurity.

To assess airlines’ commitment to sustainability, the NRDC has just released its inaugural survey that provides analysis focused on airlines that have used, or say they are planning to use, biofuels in their operations.

Despite the sector’s pledge of support and recognition of the internationally recognised Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) standard, NRDC concludes that airlines must now commit to applying RSB certification, or another equivalent standard, in their aviation biofuel sourcing.

NRDC asked 22 airlines to respond to its questionnaire and received responses from just 12, which the group describes in a report on its findings as “discouraging”. Of those 12, 11 participate in the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), which is a member of RSB. However, the findings show only two airlines have committed to using RSB certification in their sourcing efforts. NRDC calls on airlines to publicly commit to source only 100% certified sustainable biofuel by 2015, or as soon as they initiate biofuel purchases if later than 2015.

“Making this commitment would build on the airlines’ positive work to date in studying and using sustainable biofuels,” says the report. “A robust requirement around certification is a necessary next step. The RSB certification standard is global, robust and appropriate for aviation biofuels, and we recommend the principle use of RSB certification. We strongly encourage all airlines intending to use biofuels to join the RSB and become directly engaged members.”

NRDC says that as large-volume buyers, airlines’ engagement would send important market signals that sustainability is critical and needed strong standards and verification. “Failure to engage with suppliers today and send clear signals risks exposure for all parties in the future once these supplies begin to scale.”

The majority of airlines surveyed were monitoring and researching the greenhouse gas (GHG) lifecycle emissions of biofuels and indirect land use change (ILUC), says NRDC, but fewer than half had publicly disclosed the GHG performance, volumes or sustainability of the biofuels they use. The report therefore calls for greater transparency, which would serve the dual purpose of building confidence with important stakeholders and sending a clear and consistent message to potential suppliers in the marketplace who were watching to see if airlines were fully committed to sourcing certified biofuels.

Attempts by the survey to compile a picture of the total volumes of aviation biofuels that have been used so far proved largely unsuccessful but NRDC’s background research indicates that the figure is between 600,000 and 2 million gallons across the industry. Follow-up research estimated that fewer than 30,000 gallons were deemed sustainable.

NRDC says the market for aviation biofuel is rising and will continue to grow significantly in the next decade. It cites the ambitious targets set by the US Department of Defense, the EU aim of using 600 million gallons of aviation biofuel a year by 2020 and China’s goal of 7.5 billion gallons by the same year (see chart below). “Even one-tenth of this projected growth would represent dramatic development for the aviation biofuels industry,” says the report.

As the development of aviation biofuels was still in its infancy, the airlines have not been named in the survey but NRDC says it is the first step in an ongoing effort to measure, monitor and communicate on the use of both sustainable biofuels and sustainability certification by airlines. “As the marketplace develops, we intend to publish airline names and their progress towards sourcing certified sustainable biofuels,” it says.

.
Link:
NRDC ‘Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey’

.

Published aviation biofuel targets in tonnes per annum from China, Europe and the United States (source: NRDC)

 

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1672

 

.


.

 

Much more news on aviation and biofuels at Biofuels News

,

,

,

,

 

Read more »

New report from the Oakland Institute sounds alarm on aviation’s biofuel ambitions

A new report from the Oakland Institute, in California, cautions against the aviation industry’s goal to reduce its emissions by using biofuels in future. The report warns that this would bring an unprecedented expansion into biofuel production, more than likely in poorer countries, and involve the acceleration of land acquisitions already threatening the lives and livelihoods of people in developing countries. The report finds that both the potential environmental impact and toll on human lives has not been adequately factored into assessments and could cause new environmental and human disasters. This must not be allowed to happen though lack of foresight. Currently, biofuel is too scarce and expensive for serious commercial use in planes. To meet current aviation needs–let alone future increases in demand — it would take 270 million hectares of jatropha, produced on an area roughly the equivalent of one-third of Australia. The new report also looks at the drawbacks of used cooking as a source of commercial aviation fuel, and finds that even diverting all the used cooking oil in the US would keep American planes in the air for less than three days. It is not a serious future option. 


 

A serious report questioning aviation biofuels and especially the motives behind the airlines’ push for them.

A New Report, Eco-Skies, Sounds Alarm on Aviation Emissions Goals

Fuel from French fries and land grabs for biofuel are not the solution

“Eco-Skies: The Global Rush for Aviation Biofuel”

ecoskies_cover

 

18.3.2013 (Oakland Institute, California)

A new report from the Oakland Institute, Eco-Skies: The Global Rush for Aviation Biofuel, cautions against the ambitious goals of the aviation industry to reduce emissions by 2050.

The report finds that the pursuit of this goal will bring an unprecedented expansion into biofuel production, more than likely in poorer countries, and will involve the acceleration of land acquisitions already threatening the lives and livelihoods of people in developing countries.

On the surface, the idea of a strategy that relies heavily on renewable and ostensibly environmentally-friendly biofuel sounds like a positive step for the airline industry. If only it were based in fact and there was evidence to indicate future success. This new report finds that both the potential environmental impact and toll on human lives has not been adequately factored into assessments of this new goal. On the contrary, the pursuit of biofuels for the aviation industry’s fuel needs raises serious questions about the type of new environmental and human disasters this path could lead to.

A huge amount of fuel is needed to fly planes. Currently, biofuel is too scarce and expensive for serious commercial use. Lukas Ross, OI Fellow and author of the report, acknowledges that airlines are caught between economic constraints and environmental problems with fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. Airlines would like to see biofuels as the answer to both challenges, but, Ross says, “given the mind-boggling land requirements needed to meet the industry’s CO2 target, aviation biofuel has a price tag that neither people nor the planet should have to pay.”

To meet current aviation needs–let alone future increases in demand–it would take 270 million hectares of jatropha, produced on an area roughly the equivalent of one-third of Australia, or 25 times the amount expected to exist in 2015.

Even a quarter of the required area equals a Texas-size chunk of land that would no longer be available to grow food. Considering the sheer quantities of biofuel required compared to the amounts that currently exist, it is impossible to look into the future and guarantee that the drive to procure commercial quantities will not result in unsustainable, food security-threatening land grabs.

Perhaps to alleviate these fears, the airline industry founded the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), and signed a nonbinding pledge to only pursue biofuels in a way that protects biodiversity, does not compete with food, and ensures significant life cycle GHG reductions.

Although the pledge sounds good on paper, there are already reasonable questions about the social and environmental costs of the biofueled flights that have already flown (1,500 as of May 2012), and even more pointed questions about the possible costs if aviation biofuels are ever fully commercialized.

The new report also looks at the drawbacks of used cooking oil conversion as a source of commercial aviation fuel. The idea that planes can be powered with the same oil that McDonald’s uses to make its fries makes sustainability something novel and convenient that requires nothing in the way of lifestyle change.

The truth is that in 2010 the US produced 1,403.6 million pounds of used cooking oil– converting every drop into aviation biofuel would still only produce about 185 million gallons. Given that in 2012 the US alone consumed roughly 21 billion gallons of jet fuel, this means that diverting all the used cooking oil in the US would keep American planes in the air for less than three days.

Such an enormous gap between potential demand and available supply means that no airline can seriously contemplate used cooking oil as a path to sustainability.

“The airline industry, hungry for price stability and a green image, is in danger of creating an unprecedented demand for biofuel that could have catastrophic consequences for land rights, food security, and GHG emissions,” said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute. “The production of biofuels is now the largest single purpose of land deals in the developing world. As low-income countries are encouraged to embrace commercial agriculture as a path out of poverty, a host of problems have erupted. Our research has exposed how poorly conceived economic development plans have led to greater food insecurity, forced displacement, and environmental damage.”

Eco-Skies thus gives analysts in the airline industry a warning to look closely at the data before the developing world is shouldering the human and environmental cost of poorly conceived solutions, yet once again.

Download the report (http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/eco-skies)

 

Download File:

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2013/03/18-1?print

The Oakland Institute is a policy think tank whose mission is to increase public participation and promote fair debate on critical social, economic and environmental issues in both national and international forums.

 


 

 

Table of biofuel flights up to May 2012from

http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/OI_Report_Eco-Skies.pdf   page 6

.


For more on biofuels and aviation see News   Stories showing the use of biofuels by airlines, test and commercial flights.  Aviation Biofuels News
 and also

Read more »

KLM to make one flight per week New York to Amsterdam for 6 months using 25% used cooking oil

KLM has announced that one of its weekly Boeing 777 flights from New York to Amsterdam – for 6 months – will now be made using 25% biofuel made from old cooking oil.  [Not clear if that is in one engine or both]. The first such flight was last Thursday on Flight KL642 flight from JFK to Schiphol. The fuel is provided by SkyNRG and the project has been supported by (what does that mean?) a raft of KLM partners, including Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the companies in the KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Program. KLM has started marketing its new biofuel flights to corporate customers, so companies like Accenture, Heineken, Nike, and Philips who use the KLM  biofuel flights can say they have lower reported carbon emissions. There are only very limited supplies of used cooking oil, which is the only form of biofuel that can so far be regarded as environmentally sustainable. The industry’s hopes that it may be able to obtain huge amounts of so called “sustainable” fuels from algae are still years away.

.

 

KLM debuts weekly transatlantic biofuel-powered flight

Dutch airline confirms weekly flights from New York to Amsterdam will use sustainable biofuels

By BusinessGreen staff

11 Mar 2013

plane-thinkstock-web

The fast-evolving market for aviation biofuels has reached another important milestone, after Dutch airline KLM announced one of its weekly flights from New York to Amsterdam will now be made using a sustainable biofuel made from old cooking oil.

The company announced late last week that Thursday’s Flight KL642 flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to Schiphol was made using biofuel, and confirmed the weekly flight will now continue to use the biofuel.

The fuel is to be provided by aviation biofuel specialist SkyNRG and the project has been supported by a raft of KLM partners, including Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the companies in the airline’s Corporate BioFuel Program.

The news was welcomed by the Dutch Minister of Ecomomic Affairs, Henk Kamp, who hailed the project as evidence of KLM’s position as a “frontrunner in making air transportation more sustainable”.

KLM’s managing director, Camiel Eurlings, said the project was part of a wide-ranging initiative to deliver further carbon emissions reductions. “We are striving to achieve the ‘optimal flight’ together with research institutes, suppliers, airports, and air traffic control,” he said. “We are combining new and existing technologies, processes, and efficiency initiatives to achieve this.”

Significantly, KLM has started marketing its new biofuel flights to corporate customers. The company last year launched a service that allows corporate accounts such as Accenture, Heineken, Nike, and Philips who use the airline to fly using sustainable biofuel for a proportion of their flights, [They say 25% of the used cooking oil. But is that in one engine, or both engines?] effectively cutting their own reported emissions.

The flight is the latest development in an industry-wide push to develop lower carbon fuels that will allow the aviation sector to reduce its fast-increasing carbon footprint.

Airlines such as KLM, Delta, BA and Virgin Atlantic are all investing heavily in a wide range of projects to develop jet biofuels made from waste or algae.

Concerns have been raised as to whether sufficient quantities of biofuel can be developed to support the global industry, but researchers are confident algae-based biofuels in particular could one day deliver large quantities of low carbon fuel.

The research comes in response to mounting pressure from policy-makers and customers to aviation to curb its carbon impact, most notably in the form of the EU’s move to place a levy on airlines carbon emissions

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2253838/klm-debuts-weekly-transatlantic-biofuelpowered-flight

 

,


 

.

Cooking Oil-Based Biofuel Powers Transatlantic KLM Flights

Mar 12th, 2013  (Day News)
KLM Boeing 777
…. Royal Dutch Airlines’ KLM has announced that regular flights between New York and Amsterdam would be flying on a mix of cooking oil-based biofuel and jet fuel.
…. The special mix of 25% used cooking oil and 75% jet fuel would be used once a week on a Boeing 777. The program is part of a test to be conducted over 25 roundtrip flights across the Atlantic. Every Thursday for the next six months, a regularly scheduled transatlantic flight will be using the 25%-75% mix.
.

Flying on Biofuel

KLM has been working with cooking oil since 2009. On November 23, 2009, it flew the first demonstration flight with passengers. During the flight, the plane had one engine running on a 50% biofuel mix with camelina oil. This was followed on June 9, 2011 with a flight from Amsterdam to Paris with 171 paying passengers. This was the first ever commercial flight with a biofuel powered plane. The biofuel used was recycled cooking oil.

The KLM transatlantic flights are a part of the continuing testing that KLM is doing. They aim to have a 1% mix of sustainable biofuel for all planes by 2015.

.

Higher Costs for Now

Like most technologies, the initial phase will be expensive as cooking oil is not cheap. The used oil is from Louisiana, where it is refined, and trucked to New York. The cost of the fuel is about $10 per gallon, which is more than three times the cost of jet fuel. Most of the cost goes to refining and preparing the used oil for use with jet engines. With wider use, it is expected that the cost of used oil for jet engines should become cheaper in the long term.

As far as the pilots are concerned, they find no difference in the performance between using the biofuel mix and using regular jet fuel.

Restaurants and other food establishments in New York City produce between 40 million to 50 millions gallons of used oil a year. However, the oil is used as fuel for diesel trucks or for home heating fuel.

….

http://www.daynews.com/latest-news/2013/03/cooking-oil-based-biofuel-powers-transatlantic-klm-flights-16044

 


.

There is a lot of news over recent months and years on aviation biofuels.
.

.

On KLM and biofuels see:

KLM promises MilieuDefensie (Netherlands) not to buy jatropha from Waterland International

Date added: April 12, 2012

Lufthansa and KLM have flown trial flights, with KLM using – as far as we can make out -used cooking oil fuel, and Lufthansa using fuel made of 80% camelina and 15% jatropha. MilieuDefensie (Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands) has been able to get a written undertaking from KLM not to do future business with a company called Waterland, which produces jatropha. The KLM undertaking does not rule out other jatropha or other unsustainable biofuels in future, however. MilieuDefensie is asking people to write to Lufthansa, to get them to also stop using jatropha fuel. In September 2011, Jatenergy Limited announced it had sold 200 tonnes of crude jatropha oil at US $1,000 per tonne from its joint venture operations with Waterland. The oil had been refined into biojet fuel for Lufthansa by Neste Oil.   Click here to view full story…

 

200 more biofuel flights by KLM using cooking oil – while Lufthansa using Indonesian jatropha

Date added: February 24, 2012

Friends of the Earth International say the German airline Lufthansa has recently been using biokerosene made from jatropha, an inedible plant. The airline claims that flying on biokerosene is good for the environment despite numerous studies claiming the opposite. The jatropha used for Lufthansa’s test flights is grown in Indonesia by small scale farmers. The jatropha plants are often being grown at the cost of food production – jatropha competes with food crops such as maize for land – and the farmers are making a loss on the sale of the plants, so are struggling to survive. FoEI is asking people to write to Lufthansa and ask them to stop using biokerosene to fly their planes. KLM is continuing with part biofuelled flights, 4 per week, using some biofuel from used cooking oil, between Schiphol and Paris.   Click here to view full story…

 

Finnair flies commercial flight Amsterdam to Helsinki on 50% cooking oil

Date added: July 21, 2011Finnair has joined KLM and Lufthansa to use blended sustainable jet biofuel on a commercial scheduled flight.    Both engines of an Airbus A319 were fuelled with a mix of 50% biofuel derived from used cooking oil and 50% conventional jet fuel. The 1,500km journey between Amsterdam and Helsinki was the longest scheduled flight so far to use biofuel. Finnair plans to carry out a series of 4 such flights over the coming weeks. The fuel is from SkyNRG.      Click here to view full story…

 

KLM operates first scheduled flight on 50% biokerosene from used cooking oil in both engines

Date added: June 30, 2011

KLM has became the first airline to operate a commercial flight carrying 171 passengers on 50% biokerosene. A Boeing 737-800 flew from Schiphol to Paris.  KLM says they would be operating more than 200 flights to Paris on biokerosene in September. The fuel was supplied by Dynamic Fuels via SkyNRG, the consortium co-founded by KLM in 2009. “KLM is open to using different raw materials …. as long as they meet a range of sustainability criteria”.   Click here to view full story…

 

 

KLM to launch commercial flights in September Amsterdam – Paris on biofuel (? used cooking oil ?)

Date added: June 23, 2011

KLM says it will fly more than 200 flights between Amsterdam and Paris on biokerosene made from used cooking oil.   It does not say what percent of the fuel the used oil will be. KLM then says it will use other fuels too, as long as they meet their sustainability criteria and include substantial CO2 reductions.  In practice there is nowhere near enough used cooking oil available, most of which is already used as biodiesel for land vehicles, and other uses.    Click here to view full story…

Read more »

British Airways pledges to buy Solena “GreenSky London” jet fuel made from London waste for 10 years – site location still not known

British Airways and Solena “GreenSky London”  say their project to build a jet biofuel facility in East London is gaining momentum. However, they won’t reveal the location of the plant but say an exclusive option on a site for the facility and consent work has begun, with the aim of having it operational and in production by 2015.  BA has confirmed its commitment to purchasing, at “market competitive” prices, the anticipated 50,000 tonnes of jet fuel produced per year for the next 10 years, which equates to around $500 million at today’s price for conventional jet kerosene.  BA expects enough of this fuel will be produced to power 2% of its fleet departing from London Airports.  GreenSky say it will process 500,000 tonnes of London’s waste into 50,000 tonnes of jet fuel, equating to 1,100 barrels of  jet fuel per day (bpd) which is 16 million gallons.  It will also process 50,000 tonnes, or 1,100 bpd, of ultra-low sulphur diesel.  

 


 

British Airways pledges 10-year offtake agreement as GreenSky project with Solena gathers momentum

Fri 30 Nov 2012  (GreenAir online)  Full article 

…. excerpts …….

The British Airways and Solena GreenSky London project to build a sustainable jet biofuel facility in East London is gaining momentum, say the two partners. They won’t reveal the location but an exclusive option on a site for the facility and consent work has begun, with the aim of having it operational and in production by 2015.

BA has now confirmed its commitment to purchasing, at “market competitive” prices, the anticipated 50,000 tonnes of jet fuel produced annually by the plant for the next 10 years, which equates to around $500 million at today’s price for conventional jet kerosene.

Barclays has been appointed as advisor to explore the optimal funding through export credit agencies and the consortium providing the facility’s key technology functions has also been announced.

British Airways expects enough sustainable fuel be produced to power 2% of its fleet departing from London Airports.

……….

Around 500,000 tonnes of municipal waste normally sent to landfills will be converted annually into 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel, bionaphtha and renewable power at the facility as well as the 16 million gallons of jet fuel.

Solena Fuels Corporation will provide the proprietary high-temperature gasification process that converts the waste into synthetic gas and the overall Integrated Biomass Gasification to Liquids (IBGTL) solution.

The Fischer-Tropsch reactors and catalyst that will convert the cleaned synthetic gas into liquid hydrocarbons, such as diesel and jet fuel, will be supplied by Oxford Catalysts.

Marketed under the brand name Velocys, the company says its systems are significantly smaller than those using conventional technology, enabling modular plants that can be deployed more cost-effectively in remote locations and on smaller scales than is possible with competing systems.

…….. On the financing, a Competitive Letter of Interest has been obtained from one of the export credit agencies, including associated term funding. More than 150 jobs are expected to be created to operate the facility, with 1,000 workers involved during the construction.

An independent life-cycle assessment by UK-based North Energy Associates of the Solena jet biofuel showed that greenhouse gas savings exceeded both the 60% requirement of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the 50% minimum of the methodology established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB).

………. it continues ……

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1627

.


.

Oxford Catalyst shares take off as BA agrees $500mln jet fuel deal

30.11.2012  (Oxford Catalysts)

excerpts …….

British Airways has agreed to buy sustainable jet fuel from the plant over a ten year period.

……. The AIM-quoted gas-to-liquids expert is the project developer for a new plant, called GreenSky London, which will be operated by US bio-fuel specialist Solena.

It will use Oxford Catalysts Group’s patented technology as part of the process to turn waste-biomass into jet fuel.
BA ………has agreed to buy the sustainable jet fuel from the plant over a ten year period, in a deal worth US$500mln (£315mln) at current prices.

British Airways says the project is now well on the way to making sustainable aviation fuel a reality.

……A project start date was confirmed for 2015, and Barclays has been appointed as an advisor on funding. A letter of interest has been secured in respect of possible financing.

The partners have an exclusive option over a site for the facility, while pre-front end engineering and design work has begun.

GreenSky will process 500,000 tonnes of London’s waste into 50,000 tonnes of jet fuel, equating to 1,100 barrels of fuel per day (bpd). It will also process 50,000 tonnes, or 1,100 bpd, of ultra-low sulphur diesel.

http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/51041/oxford-catalyst-shares-take-off-as-ba-agrees-500mln-jet-fuel-deal-51041.html

.


.

Earlier

BA says it will announce East London jetfuel plant location “before the end of the year”

Preferred site has been chosen for London facility set to generate two per cent of BA’s fuel from waste

BA’s Jonathan Counsell has told Business Green that it plans to announce “by the end of the year” which site in East London will be used to build its plant, with Solena, to produce jetfuel. He also says “construction is imminent” and that they have a preferred site, but where this is has not been disclosed.  There have been 4 possible sites in East London capable of turning London’s municipal waste into jet fuel.  BA hopes fuel made from waste will get around criticism of competing with food crops, and so pushing up food prices.  If the East London site is successful, there are plans for others in the UK. BA hopes the Solena plant could produce some 2% of BA’s annual jet fuel use from 2015.  Counsell envisages a future where sustainable biofuels account for 20% of the industry’s fuel.  There is a lot more about BA and its aspirations to cut its carbon emissions in future, while continuing to grow as much as possible … (nothing new)….

By Will Nichols (Business Green)

27 Sep 2012

BA is set to begin initial construction on a planned biofuel-from-waste plant before the end of the year and will look to build several facilities in the UK should the technology prove successful.

Jonanthon Counsell, head of environment at BA, told BusinessGreen in an interview (copied below) that the airline had chosen a preferred site for the plant in London, after first announcing the project alongside US biofuel company Solena back in 2010.

“We’re getting close to having all the pieces in the jigsaw coming together… [and] should be making an announcement before the end of the year,” he said.

Counsell said the plant could supply around 2% of the carrier’s total fuel consumption when it comes online in 2015.

He added that the process of generating jet fuel from waste is expected to result in carbon savings of up to 95% compared to standard fuels.

“It’s been proven the will is there, the technology is now a commercial issue,” Counsell said. “The route we’re going down will be cost competitive with fossil fuel by 2015. And once we’ve proven the technology, we can look at building more plants across the UK.”

In a wide ranging interview, Counsell also urged the EU to amend it rules regulating airlines’ carbon emissions.

In April 2013, carriers will have to submit permits covering emissions from all their flights in and out of EU airports, a regulation that has prompted accusations Brussels has broken international aviation treaties and threats of retaliatory action.

Counsell suggested the EU could either only count emissions in its airspace or exempt inbound flights if it wants to avoid reprisals.

“If the EU fails to amend [EU ETS] we will go through a very difficult period that will be potentially damaging to EU carriers,” he argued.

link to Business Green Article

.


.

BA attempts to land concept of sustainable aviation

Jonathon Counsell, BA’s head of environment, says operational measures, new technology, and biofuels will help carrier halve emissions by 2050

By Will Nichols (Business Green)

27 Sep 2012

Aviation is unlikely to ever be considered particularly green. Not only is it responsible for almost as much climate-warming pollution as the entire UK, some 3% of global emissions, but environmental campaigners warn its carbon footprint could quadruple by 2050.

And yet British Airways (BA) insists carbon neutral growth from 2020, [note this is growth, not just being carbon neutral] in line with voluntary international aviation targets, is more than possible using a combination of operational efficiencies and new technology.

Through its One Destination plan the company is aiming to halve its net CO2 emissions [net CO2 emissions, not gross emissions – net cuts come largely from buying carbon credits from other sectors]  by 2050 against 2005 levels and Jonathon Counsell, BA’s head of environment, is “absolutely confident” it can deliver on the ambitious target.

“For us, that [level] means the aviation industry can grow sustainably,” he says. “If the rest of the world can deliver 50% cuts that keeps us at 3% [of global emissions], which we think is a sustainable position.”

[This means that the rest of the UK economy has to make carbon cuts of 80% of its level in 1990, by 2050.  At the same time, the UK aviation industry is offering to keep its carbon emissions at the level they were in 2005 – which was much higher than in 1990 – by 2050. It plans to do this largely be trying to get whatever genuinely low carbon renewable fuels are available, rather than other sectors having them – there is no inherent logic in why aviation should get them.  The aviation industry will try and make some small savings by being more efficient, filling planes, taking more direct routes, continuous descent and take off etc – including coatings on the outside of the plane ….  And the aviation sector will only make net cuts, many of which are by buying carbon credits from other sectors which have actually cut their carbon and cut their energy use. Aviation expects to be about the one sector that does not have to make actual cuts in carbon emissions. That is not even taking into account the radiative forcing effects of non-CO2 emissions from planes, such as NOx and formation of cirrus cloud,  which effectively approximately double the climate effect of the CO2 alone ].

The big problem BA has to overcome to meet its goal is jet fuel consumption, which represents 99 per cent of its overall carbon footprint.

For a start, the company has “about 50 initiatives” dedicated to flying smarter, shorter, and lighter, Counsell says, with an overall goal of reducing carbon emissions to 83 grams per passenger kilometre by 2035. The company has already made steady progress from its 2007 baseline of 110g/CO2 pkm, reaching just over 102g/CO2 pkm in 2011.

Over the next four months 60 flights to the US will experiment with using GPS to track more direct routes and smooth take-offs and landings to avoid wasting fuel. Quicker landings also avoid keeping aircraft in holding patterns, which has unwanted noise and pollution effects.

Counsell anticipates further savings when a new fleet of 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Boeing 787s comes in next year. Both of these models are slated to be 20 per cent more efficient than the aircraft they are replacing.

Meanwhile, the company is also taking innovative steps designed to deliver incremental efficiency savings. For example, BA has realised some flights require less potable water on board than others – contrast a corporate traveller-dominated overnight service to New York with a daytime journey stacked with children to Florida, for example. Profiling such flights has helped shrink reserves from the standard 1.5 tonnes on a 747 to one tonne, lightening the load and saving fuel.

Similarly, Counsell predicts further fuel savings of 0.4 per cent could be achieved with a low-friction outside coating for aircraft which has already performed well in tests.

However, with the exception of the new aircraft, these efforts are unlikely to make the huge leaps demanded by BA’s sustainability goals – so to make the requisite progress BA is investing heavily in alternative green fuels.

The company signed a deal with US-based biofuels specialist Solena in 2009 committing to work together to build a biofuels plant at one of four sites in East London capable of turning waste into jet fuel.

Using waste as a feedstock bypasses the criticisms levelled at traditional, crop-based fuels of damaging land use change and pushing up food prices.

Counsell reckons the Solena plant could account for two per cent of BA’s fuel from 2015 and says construction work is imminent.

“We have a preferred site for the project and an engineering company that will build it,” he says. “We’re getting close to having all the pieces in the jigsaw coming together … [and] should be making an announcement before the end of the year.

Lufthansa, KLM, and Virgin are among other large carriers experimenting with alternative fuels and as oil prices spike and pressure to cut emissions grows and Counsell envisages a future where sustainable biofuels account for 20% of the industry’s fuel.

“It’s been proven the will is there, the technology is now a commercial issue,” he adds. “The route we’re going down will be cost competitive with fossil fuel by 2015. And once we’ve proven the technology, we can look at building more plants across the UK.”

Many of these green policies are seemingly at odds with the image BA has created for itself by lobbying for extra airport capacity, most notably a third runway at Heathrow, and through the frequent attacks Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group (IAG), has launched at the EU’s aviation emissions rules.

Counsell is quick to counter the view held by many environmentalists that the company is undermining green progress. He says the new A380s are three quarters quieter than 747s when coming into land, [this is a highly misleading statement – it really is not 75% quieter in terms of what someone on the ground hears, merely a technical measurement of sound energy – amounting to a few decibels less noise heard. AirportWatch comment] while reduced congestion will improve air quality around airports.  [Most airports make a great deal of money from car parking, so are reluctant to reduce the number of car journeys bringing passengers to the airport.  AirportWatch comment]  Such arguments combined with a perceived need to open up new routes to emerging economies seem to be swaying some members of the government, with David Cameron recently launching a new review of airport capacity.

However, green groups have consistently maintained expanding airports will require other sectors of the economy to make far deeper carbon cuts to meet the UK’s target of reducing emissions 80% on 1990 levels by 2050.  Moreover, they point out that airline’s inclusion in the EU’s emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) should push up the cost of flying, negating the need for extra capacity.

Counsell says BA supports emissions trading, which covers all flights in and out of the EU. But he is “very concerned that including all emissions outside of the EU could attract retaliatory action”.

This worry may be borne out: China has already reportedly frozen a $14bn order with Airbus in protest against the EU scheme, while the US Congress has considered two bills that would effectively ban US airlines from complying with the EU regulation. Meanwhile, Chinese and Indian airlines have both refused to supply the EU with emissions data, laying the foundations for a major legal battle. However, reports suggest no one country wants to impose punitive measures without a clear indication others will join it.

All sides in the dispute would prefer a global solution agreed through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), but final proposals for a new emissions management regime are not expected to be presented by the UN body until October 2013, and its slow progress to date was what prompted the EU to start its regional scheme in the first place.[The proposals will be put to ICAO in March 2013, but agreement is difficult as the airlines and governments of developed and developing countries have areas – especially involveing money – on which they cannot agree. AirportWatch comment].

Counsell argues that the EU should head off the risk of a major trade war by changing the law so it only considers carbon emitted in EU airspace or exempts in-bound flights before carriers start to submit carbon offsets.

“This is straight-forward to do – a simple and pragmatic solution – and we’re running out of time,” he warns. “If the EU fails to amend [EU ETS] we will go through a very difficult period that will be potentially damaging to EU carriers.”

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/interview/2208487/ba-attempts-to-land-concept-of-sustainable-aviation

 

.

.
Earlier:

Solena partnership with BA to produce jet fuel from London municipal waste – delayed over 2 years?

Date added: September 10, 2012

In 2010 it was announced that Solena and BA would build a plant to produce jet fuel in London. Solena hoped the new aviation fuel would be produced from several types of waste materials destined for landfill. The airline said it plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014. In 2010 they said the self-contained plant will likely be built in east London. It’s expected to convert 551,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel each year. However, the timetable has slipped. Little news can be found about it, and there is no planning application yet. One website said the project will start in 2nd quarter of 2014 and end 2nd quarter 2016. Oxford Catalysts were selected to supply the modular Fischer-Tropsch technology . There has been no planning application yet at Rainham Marshes. The timetable seems to have slipped by at least 27 months.

Click here to view full story…

 

.

Lufthansa turns to algae and municipal solid waste as sources of jet biofuel

Date added: September 23, 2012

In a long and detailed article, with customary thoroughness, Green Air examines what is happening with Lufthansa and jet biofuel. While Solena has still not announced progress on building a plant in east London to produce jet fuel from London’s municipal waste for BA, it is progressing in Germany. There are plans in the Schwedt/Oder region of eastern Germany to build a Solena facility, using waste from landfills and incinerators. They hope to convert more than 520,000 tonnes of waste biomass into jet fuel, diesel fuel and electricity. Lufthansa is also looking to obtain jet fuel made from algae by Australian based Algae.Tec, which plans to grow algae in 40 ft shipping containers, using light capture arrays and light tubes, and CO2 from an industrial source – as well as water and minerals. Algae.Tec have so far opened a one-container test facility south of Sydney.

Click here to view full story…

.

  • Lufthansa pilots algae jet fuel plant in Europe

    German airline signs deal with Australian company to build industrial-scale plant in an unnamed country

    Lufthansa will team up with Australian biofuels company Algae.Tec to build a large-scale plant producing aviation fuels from algae.

    The two companies signed a collaboration deal earlier this week for the facility, which is due to be sited in an unnamed European country adjacent to an industrial CO2 source.

    Under the terms of the deal, the German airline will arrange all of the funding and purchase half of the fuel produced. Algae.Tec will manage the project and receive licence fees and profits.

    Algae.Tec said the agreement forms the base for “long-term cooperation” between the two companies for “the industrial production of crude algae suitable for conversion into aviation kerosene and conventional diesel fuels.”

    A Lufthansa spokeswoman told news agency Reuters the plans are still in the early stages and yet to be given final approval by the Lufthansa board.

    No details have yet been given as to when the plant will begin producing the fuel, how much it may cost or how large it will be.

    Algae is one of a number of feedstocks being considered for greener fuels that avoid the land use change and sustainability issues of crop-based biofuels.

    Lufthansa had been trialling a biofuel mix during domestic and international flights, but said in January it was cancelling the experimentafter being unable to find sufficient sustainably sourced supplies.

    In related news, aircraft traffic services company NATS has teamed up with British Airways (BA) for a four-month trial of environmentally “perfect” transatlantic flights, which could help reduce the impact of the projected doubling of European air traffic by 2030.

    The first phase of the Topflight project will see 60 BA flights experiment with operational techniques such as taxiing to an optimised flight profile and continuous descent approach designed to achieve minimal emissions and delay.

    It is expected that each trip will save approximately 500kg in fuel, equivalent to 1.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions. A previous collaboration between the two in 2010 saw a single environmentally optimised flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh save a quarter of a tonne of fuel and nearly one tonne of CO2.

    The project, which comes under the auspices of the European Community’s Single European Sky initiative (SESAR), would then look at introducing multiple “perfect” flights crossing the Atlantic simultaneously to prove that the concept is viable for the industry as a whole.

    “Topflight is an exciting opportunity to prove the ‘perfect’ flight concept is scalable and sustainable in an operational environment,” said Patrick Ky, executive director at the SESAR Joint Undertaking. “If successful, the trial could have a profound impact on the way the aviation industry works in the future.”

    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2207121/lufthansa-to-land-algae-jet-fuel-plant-in-europe

Read more »

US Senate votes to allow military to buy biofuels even if they cost more than conventional

The US Senate has voted in favor of an amendment to repeal section 313 of the annual Defense appropriations bill – which says the Department of Defense (DOD) buying fuels that cost more than their conventional counterparts. The clauses that prevented the DOD buying expensive fuel were put in by Senator Inhofe.  The biofuel industry saw this as an attack on the DOD’s policy of buying biofuels, and they and the airlines have worked and lobbied hard to get it reversed.    The biofuel industry says over 60 senators went on record supporting biofuels policy, which they believe is a ” very good bi-partisan outcome and a strong signal to investors.” Eleven Republican Senators supported the bill, primarily from states with strong interests in agriculture, timber and advanced biofuels. Many Americans support reducing dependence upon foreign oil and strengthening national and economic security via domestic renewable fuels. Especially the military that wants fuel security for massive amounts of fuel.

 

 

 

US Senate votes 62-37 to back military aviation biofuels

by 
November 28, 2012 (Biofuels Digest)

In Washington, the US Senate voted 62-37 in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado to repeal section 313 of the annual Defense appropriations bill.

Section 313 language, which was offered by Senator Inhofe and adopted in Committee, prohibits DOD from procuring alternative fuels if they cost more than their conventional counterparts.

The Committee-passed annual Defense Authorization bill would have blocked efforts to develop a commercial supply of cost-competitive advanced biofuels as detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) led a successful effort to strike language in the bill that would have restricted DOD from buying any fuels that cost more than traditional fuels.  This language, which was added by Senator Inhofe during mark-up, was a direct assault on the Defense Department’s advanced biofuels policy.

“But Udall didn’t reverse John McCain’s committee amendment (Title XXVIII, Subtitle C, section 2823—Energy Security), that bans DoD from using funds for the public-private partnership without specific legislation authorizing the expense” , noted Jane’s Defense Weekly’s Eric Lindeman. “That’s going to have to come in another amendment or, more likely, in conference.”

In the weeks after Senator Inhofe’s successful inclusion of the troubling language, BIO, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, the Advanced Biofuels Association, the Algae Biomass Organization, the Truman National Security Project, other advanced biofuels organizations, and the airlines worked closely with Senator Udall’s staff to support the senator’s efforts to strike the Inhofe language.

“Today’s vote was a good test vote for RFS,” commented BIO Executive Vice President Brent Erickson. “Over 60 senators went on record today supporting biofuels policy.  A very good bi-partisan outcome and a strong signal to investors.”

Hill observers noted the deep support for new technologies such as algae-based biofuels and for drop-in biofuels that do not require infrastructure change – in comparison to more tepid levels of support seen for corn ethanol this year in Washington.

The House of Representatives passed similar language to the Section 313 language that offered originally in the Armed Services Committee by Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma. Passage of the amendment means that the Senate and House will resolve the differences in the respective Defense appropriations bills through a House-Senate conference, where supporters of military aviation biofuels have vowed an all-out effort.

The complete roll call is here.

Among Democrats, only Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jim Webb of Virginia opposed the amendment, while 11 Republican Senators supported the bill, primarily from states with strong interests in agriculture, timber and advanced biofuels.

Senator Murray and Senator Udall’s offices had been urging senators to sign onto a letter, which has been signed by 38 US Senators, urging the removal of these committee amendments. This letter was brought up in Politico yesterday morning.

An amendment is expected to be offered to assure the DOD can continue its work on advanced biofuels. An advanced biofuels coalition letter was sent to House and Senate leadership in October asking them to support funding biofuels and the MOU.

In May, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert writing Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, stated: While the Navy does not intend to purchase alternative liquid fuels for operational use until they are price-competitive with petroleum-based fuels…I support the Secretary of the Navy’s efforts with the Departments of Energy and Agriculture to accelerate the establishment of a mastic alternative fuels industry through the Defense Production Act Title III. The provision in HR 4310m, section 314 would restrict the Navy’s ability to pursue access to alternative energy sources to power the Fleet. I believe this will impede America’s energy security.”

Next vote on advanced biofuels?

Notes on another upcoming vote on advanced biofuels. Sen. Kay Hagan’s (D-NC) amendment would strike Section 2823 (Sen. McCain) which would prohibit the Navy’s ability to provide funds for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the departments of Agriculture and Energy in fiscal 2013 unless Congress specifically authorized it through an act of Congress.

Industry reaction

In a joint statement, the Advanced Biofuels Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board and Truman Project said:

“Adopting advanced “drop-in” biofuels will help the Department of Defense (DoD) and the nation achieve broader national security objectives. Over-reliance on oil puts U.S. troops at risk of supply disruptions during military or humanitarian missions.

“Moreover, the oil market is unpredictable and the price per barrel of oil often fluctuates dramatically, which can have a significant impact on military budgets. In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, for instance, DoD came up $5.6 billion short in its budget for military operations and maintenance because it spent more on fuel than anticipated. For every $0.25 increase in the price of a gallon of oil, DoD incurs over $1 billion in additional fuel costs.

“It is increasingly important to find domestically produced crude oil alternatives to improve the country’s energy security, meet global energy demands, and provide jobs, while strengthening our military and domestic industry. The DoD’s partnership with private industry is a critical step towards achieving these goals. The amendment offered by the senators today will allow DoD to continue research and testing of fuels that provide U.S. forces with enhanced military capability.”

“It’s a really big win, a big day for biofuels,” added Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association. “It’s the first big vote after the election and helps the biofuels industry move forward in very positive way in the conference. Its heartening to see such a bipartisan, overwhelming vote on the floor of the US Senate.

Mike Breen, Executive Director of the Truman Project added:  “As a member of Operation Free, I was glad to see the Senate come together today to support DoD’s advanced biofuels programs.  Military leaders and security experts believe these initiatives are vital to our military’s energy security.

“Our dependence on oil as a single source of transportation fuel endangers our national and economic security. We spend billions of dollars every year securing strategic chokepoints in the global oil supply line, and any rise in oil prices leaves the DoD on the hook for millions or even billions in additional fuel costs.

“That’s why the military is leading the way to develop next generation renewable fuels to power its ships and aircraft.  Congress must continue to support these programs as the NDAA reaches conference.”

Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, said: “Reports of the demise of biofuels political currency appear to be premature.  Americans clearly support reducing our dependence upon foreign oil and strengthening our national and economic security via domestic renewable fuels.”

“The strong bi-partisan support for the military’s ongoing investment in the US biofuels industry is a critical step,” said Imperium Renewables CEO John Plaza, “in the ongoing development of an industry that will supply our military with domestic, sustainable high-performance drop-in fuels that create jobs, reduce our dependency on foreign oil and give our soldiers more control over their energy supplies. I want to thank the leadership of Senator Udall for bringing the amendment to the floor, as well as Senators Murray and Cantwell for their support on today’s legislation as well as their tireless support of the US biofuels industry.”

“Today, the U.S. Senate preserved the Department of Defense’s ability to purchase, test and certify advanced biofuels for ships, airplanes and vehicles,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director, Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate. We applaud the 62 senators, including Mark Udall (D-CO) and co-sponsors, for supporting the military’s clean energy initiative. Advanced biofuels will help reduce the Pentagon’s dependence on foreign oil, protect the fuel budget against the volatile price of oil and strengthen our national security.”

“Biofuels allow American workers to make fuel for American troops,” Adam Monroe, President of Novozymes North America, said. “Senator Udall’s amendment will give the Department of Defense back the flexibility to make important strategic decisions when it comes to fueling our planes, ships and vehicles with domestic, advanced alternative energy.”

 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2012/11/28/breaking-news-us-senate-votes-62-37-to-back-military-aviation-biofuels/

Read more »

Qatar University working on aviation biofuels from single-celled salt tolerant photosynthetic organisms

In Doha, Qatar University has revealed the progress into research on developing  biofuels for aviation (timed to coincide with the Doha climate talks – for PR reasons). The Qatar biofuels project is state-backed – the first in the region. The university’s project, in collaboration with Qatar Airways is now into its 3rd year and aims to find a way of producing affordable biofuels which do not rely on the use of valuable arable land and which can be produced efficiently in the harsh climate of Qatar. They have isolated multiple forms of single-celled photosynthetic organisms (cyanobacteria and microalgae) abundant in the waters of Qatar which grow well in its extreme heat, strong sunlight and highly saline water. They are trying to scale them up, from small test-tubes to water tanks – then extracting the lipids for fuel, while carbohydrate for bioethanol. So far they have made only 1,500 litres but want to expand to 25,000 litres. They hope to expand further.

 


Qatar University reveals progress of aviation biofuels project

Monday, 26 November 2012 (The Peninsula – a paper from Qatar)


Roberto Gonzalez, President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and Jane Hupe, Chief Environment Branch, ICAO, with a Qatar University Biofuels team scientist.

From left: Hareb Al Jabri, Manager of the Qatar University Biofuels Project, Dr Malcolm Potts, Director of the Biofuels Project, Roberto Gonzalez, President of ICAO, and Jane Hupe, Chief Environment Branch, ICAO, at the press briefing yesterday.

DOHA: Qatar University (QU) yesterday revealed the progress of its groundbreaking research on developing sustainable alternative biofuels for aviation, on the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference COP-18, which opens here today.

The QU research team and officials gave Roberto Gonzalez, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) a tour of the facilities.

“We really welcome this project. It shows that different solutions are being applied to different areas around the globe – focusing on sustainability by using resources natural to the surroundings. What really stands out with the Qatar biofuels project is that it is state-backed. It is a good example in the Arab region, showing a commitment to sustainability and the environment,” said Gonzales, who was impressed by the project.

This was the first time the team publicly detailed the progress of the state-backed QR45.5m biofuel project – the first time in the region. The university’s project, in collaboration with Qatar Airways and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is now into its third year. The research team which is part of QU College of Arts and Sciences has developed state-of-the-art facilities which are the best in the GCC and competitive internationally for this type of research.

The aim of the project is to find a way of producing affordable, sustainable biofuels which do not rely on the use of valuable arable land and which can be produced efficiently in the harsh climate of Qatar.

These fuels should provide an alternative source of energy, specifically for use by the airline industry. If successfully produced on a commercial scale, the discovery will have international ramifications – significantly reducing one of the airline industry’s biggest fixed costs and providing a sustainable, environmentally-friendly fuel where carbon dioxide is recycled rather than accumulated in the atmosphere.

The research team isolated multiple forms of single-celled photosynthetic organisms (cyanobacteria and microalgae) unique to the country, abundant in the waters of Qatar which grow well in the extreme heat, strong sunlight and highly saline waters of Qatar.

The research group grew these cultures, eliminating weaker variations which do not respond so well to the Qatari environment and scaled up growth from small test-tubes to water tanks to monitor their growth. Then the lipids are extracted from the cultures to make fuel, while carbohydrate is used to make bioethanol.

The team then scaled up their tests to tanks of 1,500 litres situated outdoors, at QU’s research farm in Al Khor.

Having grown them successfully, the experiment is now being scaled up even further – to 25,000 litres, specially-designed outdoor research ponds currently being prepared by the team.

If successful, a pre-commercialisation pilot plant will be constructed on a much larger scale – 1.5m litres. The aviation industry has been keenly following the project throughout its stages.

Gonzalez and his delegation visited the labs to see first-hand how the project had developed. He was joined by QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi, Vice President for Research Dr Hassan Al Derham, Head of the Department of Biological Sciences Dr Samir Jaoua and members of the biofuels research team.

“As Qatar’s national university, we are always mindful of our role in advancing technology for the greater good of society. This project plays a key role in Qatar’s wider commitment to developing in an environmentally sustainable way and, if successful, will have benefits across the world,” said Professor Al Misnad.

The Peninsula

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/215699-qu-reveals-progress-of-aviation-biofuels-project-.html

Read more »

Airbus and EADS join Chinese venture to develop algae-based jet fuels, with demo flight planned for 2013

Airbus, EADS Innovation Works and Chinese bio-energy company ENN have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in assessing the potential for developing alternative aviation fuels based on microalgae oils produced in China. The scope of the collaboration includes technical qualification of such fuels and to promote their use for aviation in China, which has one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. ENN says it is able to produce more than 10 tons of algae-based oil per year.  They plan to have test flights in 2013 using oil supplied by ENN and afterwards look to scale up the alternative fuel production process to produce more.  They will also be developing tools to assess the environmental, economic and societal impact of the technology. EADS claims that algae, fed on waste CO2 from power plants, can be grown on poor quality land using non-potable or salt water, so their cultivation does not compete with food production. And ENN says a hectare of microalgae could process 15,000 to 80,000 litres of oil. [ But there are huge scalability problems. Link



Airbus and EADS join Chinese venture to develop algae-based jet fuels, with demo flight planned for 2013

16.11.2012 (GreenAir online)

Airbus, EADS Innovation Works and leading Chinese bio-energy company ENN,[ a Chinese energy “clean” company] have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner in assessing the potential for developing alternative aviation fuels based on microalgae oils produced in China. The scope of the collaboration includes technical qualification of such fuels and to promote their use for aviation in China, one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. ENN has developed one of the most advanced pilot plants in the world and is able to produce more than 10 tons of algae-based oil per year. An objective is after a technical assessment to plan test flights to take place in 2013 using oil supplied by ENN and afterwards look to scale up the alternative fuel production process to achieve sustainable quantities of aviation fuel for flight use.

In the initial first phase of the project, the partners will work together on a maturity assessment of algae oil technology, on oil testing and analysis, and on the development of tools to assess the environmental, economic and societal impact of the technology.

Certain species of algae contain high amounts of oil that can be extracted, processed and refined. Microalgae reproduce rapidly and create at least 30 times more organic substance per cultivation area than, for example, rapeseed, claims EADS, and consume large amounts of CO2. As algae can be grown on poor quality land using non-potable or salt water, their cultivation does not compete with food production. ENN says a hectare of microalgae could process 15,000 to 80,000 litres of oil.

Set up in 2007, the ENN Biomass Energy Technology Center has focused on research of CO2-microalgae-biodiesel technology and has recently established a 5,000-tonne biodiesel demonstration project in Inner Mongolia for recycling use of CO2 from coal-fired power plants and chemical plants as well as bio-energy production. ENN has so far developed 70 technologies with proprietary intellectual property rights in biomass energy, such as light bioreactor and biodiesel production.

“Applying algae biotechnology to produce clean energy using industrial waste, including CO2 and wastewater, is part of our carbon recycle programme,” explained Dr Zhongxue Gan, CTO of ENN Group. “Sustainability is crucial to our environment and the global community. ENN, as a clean energy provider, and Airbus, as an energy consumer, are striving to make sure that algal jet fuel can be delivered and used to reduce carbon emissions for the airline industry.”

Airbus will support the necessary fuel tests and qualification activities leading to the deployment of the sustainable alternative fuels for commercial flights and will coordinate the participation of external partners such as engine manufacturers and airlines.

“We are privileged to be working with ENN to determine how we can best contribute to a sustainable aviation sector in China,” said Frédéric Eychenne, New Energies Programme Manager for Airbus, which is involved in a global programme to set up regional sustainable aviation biofuel value chains on every continent. “The commercialisation of new generation alternative fuels is one of the essential ingredients in our quest to achieving ambitious environmental targets in aviation.”

EADS has been in the forefront of promoting microalgae as a promising pathway for the production of aviation biofuels.

“We have already proven that it is technically feasible to fly with algae oil,” said EADS CTO Jean Botti at this week’s China International Air Show in Zhuhai. “Now we need to demonstrate that the industrial production of algae-based biofuel is both ecologically and economically viable.”

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1623

Links:
Airbus – Alternative fuels
EADS Innovation Works
ENN
Related GreenAir Online articles:

Airbus and Sinopec agree to partner on supporting alternative fuels development and standards in China
Boeing and Airbus set up research projects that will aim to convert China’s used cooking oil to jet fuel
Rival Chinese and US planemakers partner to set up Beijing energy conservation and emissions reduction research project

 

.


.

But there remain huge problems with growing algae in sufficient quantities for commercially viable fuel.

See

30 November 2011 (BBC)

Algae fuel firms face moment of truth

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15947205 

one extract from which says:

….. “none has yet succeeded in producing fuel commercially and at scale.

Instead, many firms have shut down.  In 2009, MIT spin-off Greenfuel Technologies closed after $70m (£44m) of investment to build its own mini-algae plant.

“No-one knows how to grow any kind of micro-organism at very large scale – multiple hectares,” says Prof Jerry Brand from the University of Texas in Austin, which is leading research in the field.

“As you scale up, it’s not that things get cheaper, but that new problems emerge.”

One problem is that despite being very small, you can’t actually grow algae very densely. The algae closest to the light – or the surface of the water – block the light for algae lower down.

Another is harvesting the green gloop, or the oil it produces.”

………… and it continues …………

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15947205 

 

 

.


.

See earlier:

 

Growing Biofuels on “Surplus” Land May Be Harder Than Estimated

Date added: October 22, 2012

Degraded or marginal lands may not be able to productively support the growth of biofuel crops, contrary to previous reports. Biofuels companies hope that surplus land, or land unused in either conservation or agricultural production, offers an elegant solution to the food versus fuel arguments that have plagued bioenergy. The problem, according to a new study in the journal BioRisk, is that the productive capacity of known surplus lands may be greatly overestimated. It is necessary to ascertain “who’s living on the land, who’s working on the land, what ecosystems services you’re dealing with — we might find out there’s a whole lot of land we just can’t convert into anything else.” Availability of water, soil quality, conservation requirements, GHG emssions from disturbed soils and existing habitation or other human use are all factors that need to be taken into consideration — and have sometimes been ignored — when designating marginal land for the production of biofuel.Even hearty species like switchgrass and miscanthus tend to yield less biomass when planted in nutrient-poor or degraded soil.

Click here to view full story…


 

Boeing executive: Industry ‘begging’ for biofuels – they need quality and quantity

Date added: October 16, 2012

A Boeing executive has said the global aviation industry is actively seeking to incorporate biofuels in its aircraft. The airline industry is “begging” for biofuels and is committed to using them in their fleets. He was speaking at the Ag Innovation Showcase in St. Louis. He said his industry is a market just waiting for people biofuel producers to scale their products up, and if they can produce these fuels in large amounts, aviation will buy them. Airlines are having to reduce their carbon footprint and one means to do this is the use of biofuels. Boeing said the world’s fleet of 20,000 commercial aircraft is expected to grow to 40,000 in 20 years. That is likely to bring the % of aviation CO2 emissions to 4% (probably more) out of the global anthropogenic CO2 total. The industry is aware that CO2 emissions are a problem for their unfettered growth. The industry can only grow hugely if it can make some efficiency improvement, find a magic bullet in biofuels, or trade carbon permits with other sectors. Boeing hopes biofuels will halve aviation’s CO2 emissions by 2050. (Not very likely).

Click here to view full story…


 

Lufthansa turns to algae and municipal solid waste as sources of jet biofuel

Date added: September 23, 2012

In a long and detailed article, with customary thoroughness, Green Air examines what is happening with Lufthansa and jet biofuel. While Solena has still not announced progress on building a plant in east London to produce jet fuel from London’s municipal waste for BA, it is progressing in Germany. There are plans in the Schwedt/Oder region of eastern Germany to build a Solena facility, using waste from landfills and incinerators. They hope to convert more than 520,000 tonnes of waste biomass into jet fuel, diesel fuel and electricity. Lufthansa is also looking to obtain jet fuel made from algae by Australian based Algae.Tec, which plans to grow algae in 40 ft shipping containers, using light capture arrays and light tubes, and CO2 from an industrial source – as well as water and minerals. Algae.Tec have so far opened a one-container test facility south of Sydney.

Click here to view full story…


Airbus and Boeing collaborating with Chinese on aviation biofuels – using “gutter oil”

Date added: September 13, 2012

Airbus has joined forces with China’s Tsinghua University to promote the production and use of aviation biofuel in China. They will look at a wide range of feedstocks, including used cooking oil, that might (?) otherwise be wasted, and also algae. The full sustainability analysis should be completed by the beginning of 2013. It hopes to produce useful quantities of aviation fuel for commercial use. In August, Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) opened a joint technology center in Beijing dedicated to aviation fuel and emissions. They say China annually consumes approximately 29 million tons of cooking oil, while its aviation system uses 20 million tons of jet fuel. There is a lot of dirty “gutter oil” from restaurants, which has been illicitly re-used in food. There are forecasts that passenger traffic in China will surpass 300 million this year and will reach 1.5 billion passengers by 2030.

Click here to view full story…


 

Aviation biofuels: which airlines are doing what, with whom?

Date added: September 10, 2012

News of airlines doing test flights using a proportion of biofuel seems to have gone a bit quiet this year. Biofuels Digest has done a round up of what they know about which airlines are linked up with which fuel companies. It appears most of the trial flights used recycled cooking oil, which cannot be a significant component of jet fuel in future as there is just not enough of it. And the realisation is dawning that biofuels compete with food crops for land, water and nutrients. Also it should be asked why aviation should be the recipient of scarce and precious supplies of the few biofuelsl that are genuinely sustainable, and do not have ILUC (indirect land use change) implications.

Click here to view full story…


Boeing, Air China and PetroChina aim for 2nd 50% jatropha biofuel flight test in autumn

Date added: June 14, 2012

Boeing in cooperation with Air China and PetroChina, will press ahead with a 2nd test flight that will be partly powered by jatropha. The flight will be in the last quarter of 2012, and be a trans-Pacific trip, far longer than the one-hour test flight that was conducted in China last October. That flight used 50% jatropha based fuel. China wants to produce more jet fuel from jatropha, which it claims can be produced from large areas of “barren land” where it might grow. The aim of the biofuel flight is to prove that a China-produced biofuel works, and to ensure “regulators and airlines around the world are comfortable using it for commercial flights.”

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Gulfstream private jets flown on 50% biojet fuel made from Camelina grown in US

Gulfstream have flown 5 private jets from Savannah, Georgia to Orlando, Florida, using 50% biofuel – called  Honeywell Green Jet Fuel –  made from camelina supplied by Honeywell’s UOP.  The fuel was a 50/50 blend with conventional kerosene. Honeywell says that camelina is an inedible plant grown in the US northwest where it is rotated with wheat and other cereal crops. Based on life-cycle analysis studies, Honeywell claims its camelina-based fuel “burn 68 % fewer CO2 emissions than petroleum-based jet fuel.” quote.  They also claim that “Depending on the feedstock, the fuel can offer between a 65 and 85% reduction in GHG emissions.”  Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process technology was originally developed in 2007 under a contract from the US military to produce renewable military-grade jet fuel for the US military.  Camelina does not appear to be free of problems, however. There may be reduced yield of wheat when grown in rotation with camelina. There is likely to be a need to fertilise the crop, to get an economic yield. It will not grow without enough water, so unless there is enough rain, it could need some irrigation. And so on.

 


 

Gulfstream flies in on advanced biofuels to make a green entrance at major aviation show

2.11.2012 (GreenAir online)

Gulfstream flies in on advanced biofuels to make a green entrance at major aviation show | Gulfstream,UOP

Gulfstream G450 refuelled with Green Jet biofuel prior to transatlantic flight in 2011

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1614
Gulfstream’s full fleet of demonstration business jet aircraft were flown earlier this week from their Savannah, Georgia base to the NBAA convention in Orlando, Florida on blended biofuel supplied by Honeywell’s UOP.

The five aircraft used Honeywell Green Jet Fuel sourced from oils from camelina, an inedible plant grown in the US northwest where it is rotated with wheat. It was blended 50/50 with conventional fuel and produced using Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process. Based on life-cycle analysis studies, Honeywell claims its camelina-based fuel burns 68 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than petroleum-based jet fuel. Depending on the feedstock, the fuel can offer between a 65 and 85 per cent reduction in GHG emissions. Gulfstream says the use of biofuels is part of a multipronged approach it is taking towards sustainability and improving aircraft efficiencies.

[For some information on potential problems with camelina, see below].

“A little over a year ago, a G450 became the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic on biofuels when Honeywell flew from Morristown, New Jersey to Paris for the Paris Air Show,” commented Gulfstream’s SVP Sales and Marketing, Scott Neal. “Now, we’re the first original equipment manufacturer to have its full fleet fly to a trade show on advanced biofuels.

“We continue to invest in research that will ensure our aircraft are fuel-efficient and quiet to lessen their environmental impact.”

Gulfstream’s sustainability efforts also extend to green buildings and manufacturing practices, including ensuring all new company buildings are LEED-certified. It has a dedicated sustainability group committed to reducing industrial emissions, conserving energy and recycling consumables. Single-stream recycling takes place at all of its facilities, with employees having diverted 1.2 million pounds (544 tonnes) of recyclables, reports the company.

Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process technology was originally developed in 2007 under a contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable military-grade jet fuel for the US military. The company says its process is fully compatible with existing hydroprocessing technology commonly used in today’s refineries to produce transportation fuels.

In other related news, UOP’s Sales Account Manager, Jim Woodger, has left to join biofuel technology company Solazyme as its Associate Director, Upstream Business Development. Earlier this week, Solazyme was ranked first in the Biofuels Digest annual “50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy” ratings.

Other companies in the top rankings that are working on alternative jet fuel development include LanzaTech (3rd), Gevo, Sapphire Energy, Honeywell’s UOP, Amyris and Virent.

Links:
Gulfstream
Honeywell’s UOP Green Jet Fuel

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1614

Related GreenAir Online articles:

Honeywell enters Canadian flight programme to test a new biofeedstock and higher blends of its green jet fuel
Honeywell enters Canadian flight programme to test a new biofeedstock and higher blends of its green jet fuel
Abu Dhabi to host major research institution and demonstration project for sustainable aviation biofuels
Progress on alternative jet fuels “stunning”, says aviation industry, but commercialization is now the major challenge
Brazilian airline TAM to conduct nationally-sourced jatropha jet biofuel demonstration flight
Progress on alternative jet fuels “stunning”, says aviation industry, but commercialization is now the major challenge
Boeing announces major initiatives to develop, commercialize and fly sustainable jet biofuels in China
Brazilian airline TAM to conduct nationally-sourced jatropha jet biofuel demonstration flight
Abu Dhabi to host major research institution and demonstration project for sustainable aviation biofuels
Algae jet fuel supplier Solazyme ranked the ‘hottest’ in annual poll of the world’s top bioenergy companies

 

.


.

The oxymoron of fuel efficient business jets

This really is a contradiction in terms. A company that deals in private jets, which are about the least fuel efficient mode of transport possible.

If the company wants to really reduce its carbon emissions, it should consider areas other than private jets, which often have only 1 – 3 passengers in the entire plane. Their emissions per passenger are often around three to eight times as much as those of a first class passenger on an ordinary commercial flight, and those may be twice as high as those of an economy class passenger.  See http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=456

Gulfstream say, in their press release at  http://www.gulfstream.com/news/releases/2012/gulfstream-aerospace-demonstrates-commitment-to-sustainability.htm   that

“The effort signifies Gulfstream’s commitment to achieving the business aviation industry’s goals on emissions reductions, including carbon neutral growth by 2020 and a reduction in total carbon emissions of 50 percent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. Alternative fuels could account for 40 percent of these reductions, while the remaining improvements will come from technology and operations.

““Using biofuels is part of the multipronged approach Gulfstream has taken toward sustainability,” Neal said. “In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, we’re focused on improving aircraft efficiencies. For example, the Gulfstream G650 flies farther and faster than any other business jet in the world, burns less fuel for the same mission and, as a result, has a reduced carbon footprint and produces fewer emissions, such as nitrous oxide. ”

.


.

Potential problems with Camelina

There is a long and quite comprehensive article from the US Association for Energy Economics at

http://dialogue.usaee.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=132&Itemid=364

Just a couple of paragraphs and extracts are copied below:

The overall water usage of camelina is minimal due to the enhanced drought resistance of the crop. Through personal communications with researchers at Montana State University, it can be derived that two inches of rainfall is necessary for proper plant establishment and a yield of 250 pounds per acre.  Each additional inch of rainfall correlates to 125 pounds of additional yield. Using the past 10 years of rainfall data from five weather stations in eastern Colorado, it can be concluded that there is an 87% likelihood of sufficient moisture to cultivate at least 500 pounds of camelina, and a 75% likelihood of enough moisture for at least 625 pounds at harvest.

Fertilizer inputs are also rather minimal. The literature is not consistent with the recommended amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed, ranging from as little as no use, to as much as 80 pounds per acre. The literature average, however, is 35 pounds per acre. In order to find an estimate of the actual cost of fertilizer in 2011, we created a basic forecast, regressing nitrogen fertilizer prices against the price of crude oil and the price of natural gas. There is significant correlation between the price of crude oil and the price of fertilizer. Natural gas was used since it is the main input in ammonia, which in turn is the main input in nitrogen fertilizer. The final estimates indicate that about $10.55 would be spent per acre on nitrogen fertilizer. Similar approaches were used for sulfur, which has a literature average of 5 pounds per acre, phosphate, whose average is 12 pounds per acre, and potassium, at 3.75 pounds per acre. Their costs per acre, when multiplied by the forecasted 2011 fertilizer prices are $1.73, $6.56, and $2.01, respectively.

There are several flaws with Camelina Sativa at this time. The oil has too high a percentage of linolenic acid (18:3) and total polyunsaturated fatty acids (Pinzi et al., 2009). These high percentages are not ideal for engine performance and shelf life, respectively, of straight vegetable oils. However, the genome has only recently been explored for use a biodiesel, and many studies are optimistic that it can be perfected in the near future.

Another issue is the unpredictability of yields at harvest; peer reviewed studies are estimating about 800 pounds per acre on average, with a standard deviation of nearly 400 pounds per acre.

….

Early simulations have yielded positive results for camelina, with several caveats. The major wildcard at this time is the impact potential impact to wheat crops. While it is most likely that no reduction will be present in the wheat harvest directly following camelina, sources have ranged greatly in this estimate. Shonnard et al. (2010) suggests that there is no loss in yield of the subsequent wheat crop, due to three factors.

These include increasing soil moisture due to the short rooted nature of the camelina crop, breaking a crop cycle aids in the prevention of pests and disease, and changing the nutrient profile through complex biochemical mechanisms.

This has been disputed, however. It must be acknowledged that personal communications with representatives from the Agricultural Research Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, have suggested that wheat farmers may expect as much as a 33% reduction in wheat yields following a camelina growth rotation. There have been no citations of this figure in any of the literature, however.

…….

 

T

Read more »

Canada claims world’s first 100% biofuel-powered civil jet flight

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has flown the first civil jet powered by 100% unblended biofuel. The plane used was a Falcon 20, which is private jet that can carry 8 – 14 people, and it flew over Ottawa. The distance it flew is not stated. A 2nd aircraft,  tailed the Falcon in flight and collected information on the emissions generated by the biofuel, which will be analysed. The drop-in fuel was produced using AgrisomaResonance Energy Feedstock, a dedicated industrial oilseed that was launched at commercial scale in 2012 across a broad region of western Canada.  Resonance Energy Feedstock produces this industrial oil – produced from genetically modified Brassica carinata – which they say is a non-food oil. They don’t actually say its growing does not compete with producing food. To date, flights on biofuels have been restricted to a 50% blend with petroleum.



 

 

Canada claims world’s first 100% biofuel-powered civil jet flight

30.10.2012 (Flight Global)

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) achieved a major milestone for the aviation industry today as it flew the first civil jet powered by 100 percent unblended biofuel. The NRC said the historic flight symbolizes a significant step not only for the aerospace industry, but also towards advancing sustainable sources of renewable energy.

“Today, I flew the world’s first 100 percent biofuel flight,” said Tim Leslie, one of NRC’s pilots. “We have been working hard with our partners for many months, and it is most rewarding to see it all come together. It is truly inspiring to take this step towards an eco-friendly future.”

“I congratulate the aerospace team at the National Research Council of Canada for achieving today’s milestone in aviation history,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “This is a perfect example of how government and industry work together to bridge the gap between Canadian innovation and commercialization. The NRC, through our government’s investments, helps support the Canadian economy by enabling its partners to develop and bring effective sustainable energy solutions to market.”

The biofuel flowed into the engine of the Falcon 20 – one of NRC’s specifically equipped and best suited jet for this challenge – as it flew over Ottawa. A second aircraft, the T-33, tailed the Falcon in flight and collected valuable information on the emissions generated by the biofuel. Research experts at the National Research Council will analyze this information to better understand the environmental impact of biofuel. Preliminary results are expected to be released in the following weeks.


The biofuel used for this flight was transformed by Applied Research Associates and Chevron Lummus Global using oilseed crops commercialized by Agrisoma Bioscience Inc. The initiative is funded by the Government of Canada’s Clean Transportation Initiatives and the Green Aviation Research and Development Network.

http://www.flightglobal.com/airspace/forums/canada-claims-worlds-first-100-biofuel-powered-89699.aspx


 

Era of 100% petroleum-free aviation debuts with first all-biofuels flight in Canada

b y  (Biofuels Digest)
October 30, 2012

In California, Aemetis announced at Advanced Biofuels Markets the world’s first flight segment on 100% renewable, drop-in biofuel, conducted by the National Research Council of Canada using its Falcon 20 jet [a business jet that can carry 8 – 14 passengers].

The drop-in fuel was produced using AgrisomaResonance Energy Feedstock, a dedicated industrial oilseed that was launched at commercial scale in 2012 across a broad region of western Canada.  Resonance Energy Feedstock produces a unique industrial oil ideally suited for biofuel manufacturing.  Resonance is part of a new generation of sustainable and scalable biomass crops, specially developed to provide a non-food oil that represent a step change for the renewable fuels industry,breaking the reliance on food crops to supply feedstock for biofuel manufacturing.

To date, flights on biofuels have been restricted to a 50% blend with petroleum, imposing limitations on fuel use. Using Applied Research Associates’ proprietary catalytic hydrothermolysis process, oil from Resonance Energy Feedstock was converted into a fuel that represents a complete replacement for conventional jet fuel, enabling flight at 100% biofuel use, a breakthrough for the renewable fuels industry. This historic flight symbolizes a significant step not only for the aerospace industry, but also towards advancing sustainable sources of renewable energy.

“Today, I flew the world’s first 100 percent biofuel flight,’’ said Tim Leslie, NRC pilot. “We have been working hard with our partners for many months, and it is most rewarding to see it all come together. It is truly inspiring to take this step towards an eco-friendly future!’’

“This flight represents the culmination of a significant and strategic effort within Canada to demonstrate leadership ingreen aviation, from the commercialization of a sustainable and scalable feedstock crop to an “at altitude” flight demonstration with real-time emissions monitoring during the flight.  Agrisoma is proud to be a part of this landmark work,” said Steven Fabijanski, President and CEO of Agrisoma, who was present on the tarmac.  “To date, all powered flight has relied on fossil fuel. This flight changes everything: we have witnessed petroleum free aviation.”

http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2012/10/30/era-of-100-petroleum-free-aviation-debuts-with-first-all-biofuels-flight-in-canada/

Related Articles

,


 

.

See earlier

Canadian researchers to carry out first test flight to use 100% jet biofuel from GM Brassica carinata

Date added: October 3, 2012

GreenAir reports that a joint initiative involving the National Research Council of Canada is working on the first-ever civil aircraft flight to use 100% unblended jet biofuel, which is under the brand name ReadiJet, A twin-engined Falcon 20 aircraft belonging to NRC will use fuel derived from Canadian-grown Brassica carinata supplied by Agrisoma Biosciences. They say this is a non-food crop which is grown on the Canadian southern Prairies. It appears that Brassica carinata is being genetically modified to produce the oils wanted for jet fuel. More than 40 commercial growers in Western Canada were contracted this year to grow over 6,000 acres (2,400ha) of the crop that will be used to create the fuel for the engine performance and emissions flight testing. In April a test flight used 1% of this fuel. They say the crop is grown on marginal ground in the brown soil zone regions of western Canada.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »