DOE Announced $35 Million for Bioenergy Research and Development

December 14, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $35 million in funding for bioenergy feedstock technologies and algae research and development. The Bioenergy Technologies Office has goals of improving the performances and lowering the cost and risk of technologies used to produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts. This also supports the White House priority for advancing the domestic bioeconomy. The announcement focuses on two main topic areas, including the characterization of municipal solid waste (MSW) to enable the production of conversion-ready feedstocks, and algae productivity exceeding expectations (APEX). There will be up to $15 million available for projects relating to MSW and up to $20 million for APEX projects. The application process will include a concept paper and a full application. The concept papers are due on February 1, 2021, and the full applications are due on April 5, 2021.

For more information, please visit the EERE Program information center.

United Airlines Pledges to be 100% Green by 2050

December 14, 2020 — In 2018, United Airlines became the first U.S. airline to commit to reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2050. However, this week they adjusted their goal to reducing their GHG emissions by 100% by 2050. The airline will advance to carbon neutrality by committing to a multi-million dollar investment in atmospheric carbon capture technology. This technology is known as Direct Air Capture and is on the forefront of innovation compared to the indirect carbon neutrality measures like carbon-offsetting. The Chief Executive Officer of United, Scott Kirby, said, “these game changing technologies will significantly reduce our emissions, and measurably reduce the speed of climate change- because buying carbon offsets alone is just not enough”. United hopes their announcement and goal for GHG emissions reduction will encourage other airlines to follow suit.

More information about United’s announcement can be found here.

USDA Request for Applications for Sustainable Agricultural Systems

December 4, 2020 — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for their Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS). This RFA is under their Agriculture and Food Research Initiatives (AFRI) competitive grants program. The amount available in the program is $150 million, for awards up to approximately $10 million each. For FY 2021, applications must focus on system approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agricultural system within the context of the long-term goal of increasing American agricultural production by 40%. The resulting projects are expected to improve the supply of affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible agricultural products, while fostering economic development and rural prosperity in America.

CAAFI believes that several concepts can address the above, and also provide significant quantities of feedstocks for biofuel production. There are three examples of such projects currently being executed under NIFA/AFRI SAS/ CAP efforts with a tie to sustainable aviation fuel production, SPARC, SBAR, and IPREFER. If your organization might have an interest in proposing a project that addresses the above and also has a connection to sustainable aviation fuel, please feel free to reach out to CAAFI for collaboration.

More information on the opportunity can be found here and CAAFI’s contact information can be found here.

Rolls-Royce to test SAF in Engine Demonstrator

December 4, 2020 — Rolls-Royce to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for the first time in testing next generation engine technology. This test is part of the company’s de-carbonization strategy and will aim to confirm that unblended SAF makes significant contribution in improving environmental performance of gas turbine engines. The SAF being used in the test was produced by World Energy in California, sourced by Shell, and delivered by SkyNRG. The aviation community agrees that SAF should “drop-in” to commercial engines, pipelines, fuel farms, and all distribution and storage channels. This test by Rolls-Royce will demonstrate that its current engines can operate with 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” option. This test will lay the groundwork for moving towards certification for flying with 100% SAF.

More information can be found in this article

November Webinar Series Hosted by CAAFI focused on “Drop-in” Alternative Fuel Distribution

December 4, 2020 — In November, CAAFI continued hosting its webinar series with presentations on industry progress in certifying novel fuels. The aviation industry agrees that alternative fuels should “drop-in” to all distribution and storage channels. Currently, there are seven alternative fuel pathways have been approved for commercial use. Several other entities are actively pursuing ASTM certification. During the webinar, Griffin Valentich, from Shell, and Eva van Mastbergen, from SkyNRG representing Global Bioenergies, both provided an overview of the pathway they are pursuing and gave an update on the qualification process. 139 members of the sustainable aviation fuel community were in attendance and engaged in the presentations.

The presentation given by Eva van Mastbergen can be found here.

For a list and description of the already approved fuels as well as more detail on the ASTM D4054 qualification process, please visit CAAFI’s webpage.

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