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U.S. Dept. of Energy seeks nominees by June 30 for Biomass Research & Development Technical Advisory Committee

15 June 2018 – The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) has announced that it is seeking nominations to the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), due by 30 June 2018. The TAC, a body of approximately 30 volunteer members, advises the Secretaries of Energy, Agriculture, and others on Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) requests for proposals, facilitates partnerships among stakeholders, and participates in strategic planning and program evaluation. TAC members come from industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and government. TAC members serve for three years, with the new members anticipated to start in early 2019. The TAC holds quarterly public meetings.

DOE is particularly looking for expertise in biofuel/biobased product economics, agricultural economics, and energy and environmental analyses.

CAAFI Leadership actively participates in the TAC and encourages CAAFI stakeholders to apply.

The Federal Register notice provides more information on the TAC member role and how to nominate a candidate.

Cathay Pacific will bring new Airbus aircraft to Hong Kong using 10% SIP fuel from Total

15 June 2018 – Cathay Pacific has announced a plan to fly all of its new Airbus aircraft home to Hong Kong using a 10% alternative jet fuel blend, using ASTM-qualified hydroprocessed fermented sugars to synthetic isoparaffins (HFS-SIP) produced by Total. This will include the delivery of 20 A350-1000s over the next four years, with the first departing Airbus headquarters on June 19, 2018.

Airbus and Total collaborated to develop a logistics facility at Airbus’ Toulouse Delivery Center to store, blend and uplift AJF as part of deliveries, and has already used the Total bio-based HFS-SIP fuel for the delivery of 24 A350-900 aircraft.
This latest news complements Cathay Pacific’s investment in Fulcrum BIoenergies, which makes jet fuel from municipal solid waste. Cathay Pacific will be one of the first airlines to fly on Fulcrum’s fuel when the recently initiated Sierra Biofuels Facility begins commercial production.

Both Cathay Pacific and Airbus representatives indicated that this agreement is part of their respective company’s ongoing commitments to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint.

CAAFI applauds this new commitment.

Read Cathay Pacific’s press release here.

LanzaTech’s First Commercial Ethanol Facility Begins Operations

8 June 2018 – LanzaTech’s 16 million gallon per year ethanol production facility in China began operations on May 3rd. This is the world’s first commercial facility that converts waste steel mill gases to ethanol. Ethanol can be converted to jet fuel and CAAFI is looking forward to continued collaboration with LanzaTech on the Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) pathway and opportunities to support the aviation sector.

Read LanzaTech’s press release here.

Shell Aviation and SkyNRG Announce Long-term Collaboration on SAJF Deployment

8 June 2018 – On May 30, 2018, Shell Aviation and SkyNRG announced that they will commit resources to a joint business development fund to support a multi-year strategic collaboration to promote the use of sustainable alternative jet fuel, with a particular focus on low-carbon solutions.

The official press release can be found here.

Fulcrum Sierra Biorefinery Groundbreaking

On May 16, 2018, I was privileged to personally witness the Fulcrum Sierra Biorefinery Groundbreaking in Storey County, NV. For over six years, the tri-agency team from the Departments of Navy, Energy, and Agriculture has been working through the detailed steps of the Defense Production Act process to get to this stage. It has been a long road for my counterparts and myself, but it was well worth the effort. I could not have been prouder to see those shovels in the ground!

More than 200 guests and stakeholders from up and down the supply chain witnessed the groundbreaking event of this first-in-the-U.S. commercial scale biorefinery utilizing municipal solid waste as a feedstock. The State of Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, was the keynote speaker and enthusiastically welcomed this milestone project to the state.

The Sierra Project is in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center east of Reno and will utilize Fulcrum's proprietary thermochemical process to convert waste into low-carbon transportation fuels. Fulcrum's process can extend the life of landfills and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions compared to the use of traditional petroleum transportation fuel and traditional landfilling practices.

When the plant begins commercial operations in the first quarter of 2020, Sierra will convert approximately 175,000 tons of household garbage into more than 10.5 million gallons of fuel each year (their commercial-reference-size facility).

Fulcrum is developing future projects that follow a similar approach as Sierra with fixed feedstock costs, fuel offtake prices hedged against oil, plant performance guarantees and a low anticipated cost of production, with subsequent facilities sized at integer multiples of the reference size facility, to match local feedstock availability. As construction proceeds on Sierra, engineering, siting and permitting activities are underway for the company's next several projects. Fulcrum is looking at the Chicago area for its second commercial facility, and at the west coast for its third. Collectively, the Sierra facility and the next several plants are expected to deliver on Fulcrum’s current offtake agreements of more than 300 million gallons of jet fuel annually. For more information on the Fulcrum groundbreaking event, see Fulcrum’s website.

- Chris Tindal, Assistant Director of CAAFI

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