Archived News

Mercurius Biorefinery Pilot Plant Gets a Green Light

February 15, 2019 – U.S.-based Mercurius Biorefining is going Down Under. Gladstone, Queensland will be the site for the pilot plant for alternative jet fuel (AJF) and renewable diesel production from agricultural and forestry waste and is set to go ahead after a funding injection from the Queensland Government.

Mercurius Biorefining is developing its Renewable Acid-hydrolysis Condensation Hydrotreating (REACH) process, which converts cellulosic biomass to hydrocarbons in the renewable diesel, aviation, and marine fuel ranges. Valuable by-products include bio-char and a bio-plastic monomer, FDCA.

REACH is a new application of proven technologies that is both feedstock- and product-flexible. Sources of potential feedstock include waste from municipalities and non-food feedstocks like sugarcane waste.

Mercurius President and CEO Karl Seck said the company was attracted to Queensland by the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Acceleration Program in 2017. The Queensland Government has been very proactive and forward-leaning when it comes to developing a bioeconomy in Queensland. Additionally, they have a desire to create regional employment and economic growth opportunities through these types of innovative projects.

Detailed design of the Mercurius pilot biorefinery has commenced and they will begin construction in a few months. The pilot plant will be co-located on the Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun, with construction scheduled to conclude in late 2019.

To learn more about the Queensland Government’s commitment to biofutures, download the Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan here.

For more information, see the official story from the Queensland Government here.

Upcoming Event: Washington State Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit, March 2019

CAAFI is passing along the following invitation, courtesy of the Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit Committee.


07 – 08 March 2019
Seattle, Washington

Presented by the Earth Day Network and sponsored by the Port of Seattle and Alaska Air.

The latest Washington Department of Ecology report on the Washington State Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory: 1990-2015, shows that the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions increased by about 6% from 2012 to 2015, and that the transportation sector is among one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas. Sustainable aviation fuel can help reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 80% compared with petroleum jet fuel and can significantly reduce particulate matter.

At the two-day Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit, you will hear from national leaders on engaging and aligning the entire sustainable fuels value chain as Washington’s most innovative industries are brought together to develop a local supply chain of clean and sustainable fuels for aviation. Attendees can contribute to the dialogue and thought leadership on the topic of sustainable aviation fuels.

Bell Harbor International Conference Center
2211 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121

For more information and to register, please go to the Washington SAF Summit link

Thank you very much.
CAAFI Leadership Team

MIT Graduate Student opens the 2019 CAAFI Webinar Series, presenting analysis of policy effects on SAJF technoeconomics

25 January 2019 – On January 17, CAAFI’s R&D Team hosted the first CAAFI Webinar of 2019, presented by Juju Wang, a second year graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Wang is currently conducting research on alternative aviation fuel technologies in the Lab for Aviation and the Environment under Professor Steven Barrett. Her presentation, “Quantitative Policy Analysis for Alternative Jet Fuel Pathways” described her work using stochastic techno-economic analysis (TEA) to model various alternative jet fuel pathways’ economic viability relative to fossil jet. In addition, potential policies such as input subsidies, greenhouse gas reduction incentives, and capital grants were simulated in the model to assess breakeven policy costs and quantify policy effects (both singly and combined) on the financial viability for each pathway.

The webinar was well-attended with approximately 80 participants. To view the presentation slide deck, click here.

The model used for the analysis was modified from Bann et al. (2017) that can be found here.

CAAFI Webinars are intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel community to discuss progress and related gaps and challenges, share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies in order to promote communication among stakeholders and enable commercialization of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF).

The Netherlands Announce 100% Commitment to AJF

24 January 2019 – The Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands has begun to transition all military aviation to alternative jet fuel (AJF). This month, as a first step, more than 100,000 gallons of AJF produced by World Energy Paramount were delivered to an air base in the Netherlands. All F-16 fighter jets assigned to the base will fly on a 5/95 blend. The Netherlands’ Ministry of Defense has announced a plan to increase the blend level to 20% AJF for the entire nation’s fleet of 169 military aircraft by 2030 and 70% by 2050.

Read more here.

Business Aviation Community Holds Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) Demonstration & Communication Activity at Van Nuys, CA airport

23 January 2019 – On Jan. 17, the Business Aviation Community executed a significant demonstration activity entitled “Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability.” Avfuel supplied 6,200 gallons of Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel, and World Fuel Services supplied 8,000 gallons of World Energy Paramount’s hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) fuel to Van Nuys, CA airport (VNY). The fuel was delivered to jet-powered business aircraft by the four VNY fixed-base operators (FBOs): Jet Aviation, Clay Lacy Aviation, Castle & Cooke Aviation and Signature Flight Support. Additionally, business jets from Bombardier, Gulfstream, and Embraer flew to VNY fueled with SAJF blends, and undertook demonstration flights for press and dignitaries.

VNY is one of top-10 busiest general aviation airports in the U.S. The demonstration highlights the business aviation industry’s commitment to the development and use of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF), and how seamlessly these fuels can be integrated with normal airport operations. VNY reported that 140 departures were fueled with SAJF blends during the 24-hour event. The event included remarks from the major BizAv industry associations (EBAA, GAMA, IBAC, NATA, and NBAA) and local dignitaries, informational industry presentations about SAJF, in-flight demonstrations, a press event, and a networking reception.

CAAFI Executive Director Steve Csonka participated in the panel and press discussions, providing perspective to the 150+ attendees about potential GHG reductions, various production pathways, and how the aviation industry qualifies these fuels for use in flight. He emphasized that clear signals from the operator/FBO/supplier network to producers about their interest in purchasing and using SAJF are necessary for new producers to close on financing and build new SAJF production facilities. Csonka also remarked on additional SAJF benefits of reduced tailpipe emissions of sulfur oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and unburned hydrocarbons (all regulated pollutants) near the airport.

This VNY event represents the latest phase of CAAFI’s collaboration with the BizAv community to meet the sustainability goals of the entire jet-powered aviation industry. Additional events are expected to follow later this year.

Find more information here

Etihad Airways Flies from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam on AJF Blend from Halophytes

18 January 2019 – In a major milestone for the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) at the Masdar Institute in the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways flew a Boeing 787 from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam using a fuel blend including alternative jet fuel made from the oils halophytic (salt-tolerant) plant Salicornia. The SBRC has been working on a project around “Seawater Energy and Agriculture Systems” in which halophytes are cultivated in conjunction with shrimp and fish farming. Halophytes have been proposed as a biofuel feedstock solution because they can be grown in arid environments with no freshwater inputs. The SBRC anticipates that this feedstock can contribute to alternative jet fuels that are sustainable and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of jet fuels. While currently only two hectares of Salicornia are being grown, the team expects to scale up to 200 hectares in the next few years as a step towards full-scale commercial implementation.

For more information, see the press release here.

Shell Announces Collaborative Effort to Reduce Carbon Emissions at SFO at CAAFI Meeting

4 January 2019 - On December 6, 2018 at the CAAFI Biennial General Meeting (CBGM), Shell announced a partnership with SkyNRG and World Energy to initiate the supply of SAJF to three major airlines, KLM, SAS, and Finnair, operating from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The SAJF will be provided through existing refueling infrastructure at SFO to support their goal of expanding the use of SAJF in its operations. The goal of the effort is to reduce the carbon emissions of flights departing SFO and to build resilient SAJF supply chains that will pave the way for expanding the use of SAJF at other airports.

See Shell’s press release here.

Shell, World Energy, and SFO all presented at 2018 CBGM on their respective efforts to expand the production, deployment and use of SAJF in the U.S. Shell’s presentation can be viewed here. The rest of the available slide decks from the CBGM can be accessed here and photos of the event can be viewed here.

Van Nuys First General Aviation Airport to Offer SAJF in U.S.

4 January 2019 – On January 17, 2019, Van Nuys Airport will host a day-long event “Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability” highlighting sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) activities and resources, while demonstrating the fuel’s viability. The event will officially launch Van Nuys Airport as the first general aviation airport to offer SAJF in the U.S. The event is a reflection of the business aviation industry’s long-standing commitment to the development and adoption of SAJF. The SAJF will be supplied to four of the airport’s FBOs by fuel suppliers Avfuel, Bombardier, Phillips66 and World Fuel Services. SAJF producers, World Energy and Gevo, will also be on hand for the day’s activities.

For more information including a schedule of events, read the press release here.

Neste Makes Final Investment Decision Expanding Renewable Product Production Capacity

2 January 2019 – Last month, Neste made the final decision to invest more than $1.5 billion for additional renewable products production capacity in Singapore. Neste currently has a renewable products production capacity of 2.7M metric tonnes annually. Of this total, over one million is produced in Singapore, the same amount in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and the rest in Porvoo, Finland. This investment will increase total renewable product capacity at the Singapore facility by up to 1.3M tonnes per year. Neste’s renewable product refineries are all capable of producing renewable diesel, alternative jet fuel, and raw materials for various polymers and chemical materials. Neste is targeting the first half of 2022 to initiate the new production line in Singapore and in the meantime will continue to increase existing capacity to 3M tons by 2020 through operational optimization efforts.

Neste has further confirmed with CAAFI that when this facility comes online, and as other enhancements are completed at their other facilities, they plan to have a 1M tonnes capacity for HEFA SAJF from their total production slate of 4.5M tonnes by 2022. Exact levels will assumedly be determined by market and policy fundamentals, as well as executed offtake agreements.

CAAFI’s Executive Director Steve Csonka commented, “This is very welcome news, and reflects Neste’s recent attention on, and collaboration with, the aviation marketplace, as Neste also recently announced that they are again producing HEFA-SPK at Porvoo. This announcement reflects a total production capacity for HEFA-SPK of 329M gpy by 2022. HEFA-SPK can currently be blended with petroleum jet at levels up to 50%. Additionally, if the aviation industry moves forward with the option of using renewable diesel as a blending component, we could see Neste being a major contributor to assisting the aviation industry with lowering its net GHG levels via the use of both HEFA-SPK and HDRD as a blending component. In either case, CAAFI would expect to see potentially significant amounts of sustainable alternative jet fuel enter the US West Coast markets via import, as supported by low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) policy mechanisms.”

For more information see the press release here.

Production of alternative jet fuel and renewable diesel from algae and waste oil to begin in Japan using ARA CH technology

6 November 2018 – Recently, Euglena announced the completion of its refinery plant in Yokohama, Japan that can produce a combined 33,000 gallons per year of alternative jet fuel and biodiesel with plans to expand to 66,000 gallons per year by 2025. Euglena partnered with ANA Holdings for the project with the aim of fueling their international commercial flights departing from Japan by 2020.

Read more here and here.

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