Gevo, Inc., based in Englewood, Colo., U.S.A. has signed a strategic alliance agreement with Alaska Airlines to purchase Gevo’s renewable jet fuel and fly the first-ever commercial flight on alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ).
Gevo produces isobutanol, ethanol and high-value animal feed at its fermentation plant in Luverne, Minn., U.S.A. Gevo has also developed technology to produce hydrocarbon products from renewable alcohols. Gevo currently operates a biorefinery in Silsbee, Texas, U.S.A., in collaboration with South Hampton Resources Inc., to produce renewable jet fuel, octane and ingredients for plastics like polyester.
Alaska Airlines’ demonstration flight is expected to occur once Gevo receives certification for its fuel from ASTM International sometime in 2015. Once approved, this fuel can be seamlessly integrated into the existing distribution infrastructure and onto commercial aircraft.
“Developing a domestic, competitively priced, sustainable supply of biofuels is fundamental to the future of American aviation,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of external relations at Alaska Airlines. “The cost of fossil-based jet fuel is one of the largest expenses for airlines. This investment in Gevo’s ATJ will help reduce our exposure to high fuel prices, minimize our carbon footprint and demonstrate growing demand for fuel alternatives.”
Gevo’s patented ATJ is a clean burning, homegrown, drop-in jet fuel, which has the potential to deliver aviation biofuels at scale and at competitive cost.
Alaska Airlines was the first U.S. airline to fly multiple commercial passenger flights using a biofuel from used cooking oil. The carrier flew 75 flights between Seattle and Washington, D.C. and Seattle and Portland in November 2011.
The airline, which is based in Seattle, Wash., U.S.A., has set a goal to using sustainable aviation biofuel at one or more of its airports by 2020.