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BRDI Funding Opportunity Announced for Biofuels Development

9 June 2017 - In a large-scale effort to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign energy resources, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and DOE have announced the provision of $9 million in funding for biomass-based projects through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). A joint NIFA and DOE program, BRDI will solicit proposals from interested for-profit entities, universities, nonprofits, and national laboratories who address areas of feedstocks development, biofuels and bio-based products development, and biofuels development analysis. DOE and NIFA initiated the fund to advance the economic and environmental sustainability of biofuels to increase their availability and diversify the nation’s energy portfolio. For FY 2017, DOE will fund up to 6 awards, while NIFA expects to fund up to 14 awards, each ranging from $500,000 to $2 million.

Concept papers are due by July 7th, 2017, and full applications are due by September 22nd, 2017.

For more information about the application process and for the full article, click here.

AltAir Fuels and SkyNRG expand supply of SAJF to commercial aviation in the U.S. and Sweden

23 May 2017—Sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) is receiving a lot of publicity in May. On May 3, Singapore Airlines celebrated its 70th anniversary with its first flight operated on SAJF. The flight from San Francisco to Singapore kicks off a three-month-long, 12-flight period during which the Airbus A350-900 will run entirely on the blend of SAJF and standard jet fuel. The fuel is made from used cooking oil and is produced by AltAir fuels, the world’s first commercial renewable fuel refinery. SkyNRG supplied the fuel and co-funded the premium. China Aviation Oil (CAO) and EPIC Fuels (also jet fuel providers) worked in close cooperation with SkyNRG. Read more about this venture here.

May 18 also saw SAJF market progression when Sweden’s largest airport operator, Swedavia, received its first batch of SAJF. The fuel was produced by AltAir Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG and Air BP, and will be used in 2017 at the Gothenburg Airport in Sweden. Swedavia facilitated the process of bringing this SAJF to market with the help of the Fly Green Fund, an initiative founded by SkyNRG, EFS, KLM, SAS, and BRA that reduces the upfront premiums associated with entering the SAJF market. It is able to do this by creating demand and supporting local feedstock producers. Read more from the original article here.

CAAFI’s Business Team SOAP-Jet Webinar: The Latest De-Risking Techniques for Commercial Scale Project Financing in Bio

23 May 2017 - CAAFI’s Business team hosted a Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum (SOAP)-Jet Webinar on May 19th. SOAP-Jet 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). John May (Stern Brothers & Co.) and Tom Dickson (New Energy Risk) presented “The Latest De-risking Techniques for Commercial Scale Project Financing in Bio”. Closing financial investment for commercial SAJF production facilities is a major hurdle for large-scale production and deployment of SAJF. The webinar discussed a number of innovations in project finance created by Stern Brothers &Co. and New Energy Risk as part of their experience in working with bio-fuel and bio-refinery developers, including:
• tax-exempt bonds
• loan guarantees
• bonds in combination with USDA Loan Guarantee Programs
• technology risk insurance policy
• a finance mechanism that offers funding for a series of projects in a single transaction

The webinar was attended by more than 50 CAAFI members. To view the presentation click here.

John M. May, Managing Director, is Co-Head of the firm’s Renewable Energy Practice, which he founded in 2003. Stern Brothers & Co. (SB), a US investment bank, provides project financing for alternative jet fuel project developers who are seeking to build commercial scale plants globally. Thomas R. Dickson is the CEO of New Energy Risk (NER), a venture-backed managing general underwriter specializing in sourcing, underwriting and structuring performance insurance policies for new and renewable energy technology.

NREL Finds 6 Billion Gallons of SAJF Per Year Could Enter U.S. Market by 2030

27 April 2017 – The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released the aviation biofuels report, “Potential Avenues for Significant Biofuels Penetration in the U.S. Aviation Market.” The report finds that it is possible to displace 30 percent of projected domestic jet fuel demand with biofuels by 2030. This equates to approximately 6 billion gallons of the 2015 domestic U.S. jet fuel market. The possibility of this projected quantity entering the supply chain is made possible under aggressive policy, such as a producer tax credit or carbon tax, and/or positive investment scenarios (e.g. loan guarantees and early-stage financial support).

The report states that in cases where there are high levels of incentives and investment in aviation biofuels, there could be up to a 25 percent reduction in overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the aviation sector. This reduction could play a significant role in closing the gap between expected increases in GHG emissions from the growing aviation sector in the coming years and the industry’s commitment to carbon neutral growth starting from 2020.

The full report can be found here.

First Demonstration Flights on 100% Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel in a Saab Gripen Fighter Jet with ARA Readijet® Fuel

11 April 2017 – On March 28th, Saab Group completed the first demonstration flights using 100% sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) in a Gripen single engine (GKN RM12) fighter jet. Conducted in Linkoping, Sweden, the flights went perfectly according to plan, proving that 100% SAJF can replace conventional jet fuel in a Gripen engine with no noticeable differences in performance. Saab used a rapeseed oil-based SAJF called Readijet® or CHCJ-5 produced by Applied Research Associates (ARA) using catalytic hydrothermolysis for its Gripen test flights that did not require any engine modifications for use. These flights were a crucial step in demonstrating the potential of 100% SAJF for use in military aerospace, a practice that will work to reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation industry. A similar test flight was performed by the U.S. Navy in November 2016.

ARA and its partners are working with CAAFI to achieve ASTM qualification for their SAJF process.

For more information, refer to the Saab news story.

CAAFI’s R&D Team SOAP-Jet Webinar Series: INL Presented on the Development of Advanced Feedstock Supply Systems

3 April 2017 - CAAFI’s R&D team continued the Seminars on Alternatives to Petroleum (SOAP)-Jet webinar series on March 24th. This webinar series is intended to provide a forum for members of the alternative jet fuel R&D community to discuss technology and related gaps and challenges, share lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies to promote communication amongst stakeholders. David Thompson, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) presented, “Advanced Feedstock Supply System Development at INL.” The slide deck from the presentation can be found here. The wide variety of biomass, moisture levels, and compositions creates a unique challenge to development of reliable, cost effective biorefineries. Wide geographic distribution of these resources adds additional challenges to achieving economies of scale necessary to provide low-cost, high-volume biofuels. Today’s infant biorefining industry lacks a consistent and reliable commodity biomass supply, and relies on vertical integration of its feedstock supply to minimize supply risk. However, existing biomass supply is collected and supplied using conventional systems developed for industries less sensitive to feedstock quality that can utilize lower cost passive quality management.

This webinar focused on ongoing work at INL (with funding from DOE-BETO) to address these issues through development of advanced feedstock supply systems to produce engineered conversion-ready feedstocks that meet all quality requirements for the conversion process. These requirements include not only the traditional quality parameters, but also physical quality requirements such as flowability, aerobic stability, and the ability to efficiently introduce the feedstock to the first step of the conversion process at high operational reliability. Thompson also described BETO resources at INL that CAAFI member organizations can access for their own work, including the Biomass Feedstock National User Facility, the INL Bioenergy Feedstock Library, and a biomass grading system under development.

David Thompson leads the Feedstock Supply Chain Strategic Analysis Group at INL and has worked in the biofuels industry for 30 years. Ideas for future SOAP-Jet webinar topics you’d like to see or present? Contact us

New Study Finds Blending Alternative Jet fuel with Conventional Jet A Reduces Particle Emissions at Cruising Altitude

21 March 2017 – A new study published in Nature finds that blending sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) with conventional Jet A reduces particle emissions in aircraft exhaust at cruising altitudes. These findings are based on observations from a recent NASA DC-8 research flight that sampled engine exhaust from a 50:50 blend of conventional Jet A and Camelina-based SAJF, as well as from neat conventional Jet A. Exhaust plumes were sampled by a trailing aircraft at an appropriate distance to ensure the exhaust from each fuel tested did not mix. After comparing the data, researchers found that the 50:50 Camelina/Jet-A blend reduced particle emissions by 50 to 70 percent compared to pure Jet A. This study suggests that widespread use of SAJF may be a viable strategy to reduce pollutant emissions from the aviation sector.

SAJF used in the experiment was produced using the ASTM approved Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA-SPK) production pathway.

For more information on the experiment and its findings, refer to the full study.

CAAFI Leadership and Partners Make 2017 Top 100 People in Advanced Bioeconomy List

2 March 2017 – Congratulations to numerous CAAFI leadership team members and CAAFI partners who were recently voted into the Biofuel Digest’s Top 100 People in the Advanced Bioeconomy for 2017! The list is annually populated based on votes by readers and the editorial board of the Digest.

Congratulations again to the CAAFI leads and collaborators listed below:

Steve Csonka, CAAFI Executive Director
Harry Baumes, USDA
Chris Cassidy, USDA
Todd Hubbell, USDA
Nancy Young, A4A, CAAFI Environment Team Co-lead
Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech
Jonathan Male, U.S. Department of Energy
Jim Macias, Fulcrum BioEnergy
Pat Gruber, Gevo
Bryan Sherbacow, AltAir Fuels
Tom Vilsack, President US Dairy Export Council
Chris Tindal, US Navy
Wally Tyner, Purdue
Cindy Thyfault, Westar Trade Resources
Maarten van Dijk, SkyNRG
Joanne Ivancic, Advanced Biofuels USA

To see the full 2017 list, see The Digest here.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Alternative Fuels Seminar in Montreal, Canada

26 January 2017 – On February 8-9, 2017, ICAO will host an Alternative Fuels Seminar in Montreal, Canada, to discuss the current state of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) deployment, sustainability criteria, life-cycle analysis methodologies, and the regulatory frameworks that support the deployment of SAJF. Topics and ideas discussed at this event will act as the basis for the ICAO Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels, which will take place later in 2017. This seminar is open to the public. Registration for the Seminar is currently open; however, on-site registration will also be available.

For more information on the Seminar, refer to the event website.

USAF Releases FOA for Advanced Drop-In Biofuels Production Projects

24 January 2017 – On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Air Force released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for new Defense Production Act Title III Advanced Drop-In Biofuels Production Project funding. Funding will be awarded to projects that increase the production of domestic advanced biofuels through the development of Integrated Biofuel Production Enterprise (IBPE) capabilities. IBPE capabilities should represent the entire value chain for advanced biofuels. Eligible projects must: result in domestic advanced biofuels suitable for military use, a production capacity of at least 10 million gallons per year, be produced using acceptable feedstocks, and be compliant with the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007, Section 526 for greenhouse gases.

For more information, refer to the USAF announcement.

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