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USDA NIFA Awards Grants Supporting the Development of AJF

25 September 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced six awards totaling $21.6 million through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to support the development of alternative jet fuel (AJF), biobased products and biomaterials from renewable sources. The grants of more than $7 million each to the University of Arizona for fuels from guayule and the University of Florida for oilseed fuel pathways will result in regional AJF supply chain development and have significant implications for sustainable fuel availability nationally.

CAAFI will participate as an advisor for both projects and leads the supply chain development effort as a member of the University of Florida team.

CAAFI will host a webinar to introduce these two projects in the near future – stay tuned! Until then you can read the announcement here and learn more about the projects here.

British Airways Contracts with Velocys to Develop Waste-based Alternative Jet Fuel Facilities

19 September 2017 - British Airways has partnered with Velocys, a renewable fuels company, to design a series of municipal solid waste (MSW) to jet fuel facilities in order to fulfill their commitment to reduce net emissions by 50 percent by 2050. The first planned facility will produce enough fuel for all their 787 flights from London to San Jose, CA and New Orleans, LA for an entire year. The recent changes to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) by the Department of Transport that enabled sustainable alternative jet fuel to claim credits under the incentive scheme is expected to provide long-term support for the market.

To read the news releases click on the following links: British Airways new release and Velocys news release.

Enerkem Facility Becomes First Commercial-scale Plant to Produce Cellulosic Ethanol from Mixed MSW

19 September 2017 – Enerkem has been producing and selling biomethanol since 2016 from its facility in Edmonton, Canada and now, with the installation of its methanol-to-ethanol conversion unit earlier this year, has become the first facility in the world to produce cellulosic ethanol from mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) on a commercial-scale. Enerkem is planning on increasing production at the Edmonton facility while preparing to build their next facility in parallel. While ethanol is not usable in jet aircraft, CAAFI is woekring with task forces to pursue an ethanol to alternative jet fuel certification in ASTM.

Read Enerkem’s news release here.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Alternative Fuel Symposium in Vancouver, Canada

19 September 2017 – On November 16-17, 2017, IATA will host an Alternative Fuel Symposium in Vancouver, Canada that provides a platform for industry professionals to interact and find out about the latest developments and insights from leaders in the market. The program will include panels on the following topics: outcomes from the 2nd ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels in Mexico, 2020 Production Potential, Innovative Deployment Solutions, Global and Regional Initiatives, and Airline Strategy and Demand Trends including CORSIA Eligibility and Future Challenges. This seminar is open to the public and registration is currently open.

For more information or to register for the event, please go to the event website.

Engineering Sugarcane for Efficient Conversion to Alternative Jet Fuel

19 September 2017 – The Plants Engineered to Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum (PETROSS) project at the University of Illinois and funded by the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program has developed lipidcane, which is sugarcane that produces oil instead of sugar. The oil from the lipidcane can be converted directly via hydroprocessing of esters and fatty acids (HEFA), and therefore more efficiently by eliminating the need to convert the sugars to ethanol before then converting the ethanol to alternative jet fuel. By replacing the sugars in sugarcane with oil and eliminating the extra step makes it possible to reduce the cost of the feedstock. The research found that lipidcane with 5% oil produces four times more jet fuel (416 gallons) per hectare than soybeans.

Go here to read more about the study.

UK Offering Funding for Waste-based Alternative Jet Fuels

19 September 2017 – The Department of Transport in the United Kingdom is offering £22 million to develop alternative jet fuel from waste. The goal is for the funding to help develop five new plants by 2021. Approximately 70 groups have already expressed an interest in applying for the funding. The Department of Transport claims sustainable fuels made from waste materials could support up to 9,800 new jobs by 2030.

Read more here

Rebuilding Regional Opportunities for Sustainable Fuels: Lessons from Fort Pierce, FL F2F2 Efforts

In 2013, CAAFI, its private sector sponsors and government partners, including USDA and FAA, kicked-off the 5 year Farm to Fly 2.0 (F2F2) coalition to facilitate “bottoms up” development of state and regional sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) supply chains. There is no better example of “bottoms up” execution than the outcomes of the F2F2 project in Fort Pierce, FL. The project used a modest USDA Rural Development grant to develop the foundation for a commercial supply of SAJF in the region.

This F2F2 project was created in response to Florida’s citrus crop crisis. These crops have been reduced to WWII levels by citrus greening leaving hundreds of thousands of acres fallow. Proving the feasibility of a new crop and motivating farmers to grow it is vital. With growing airline service in the region and the need to fill the gap left by the failing citrus crop, this project offers the possibility of wide-spread community benefits.

What has been learned that can be applied in other states and regions?
• Leaders that are well connected from the farm to State House in the project area are a key factor in achieving successful outcomes. The leadership of entrepreneur Ben Devries, rancher Mike Adams and the Treasure Coast Education, Research, and Development Authority was essential to the project’s success.
• Visible customer demand and processor engagement is critical. End users (American, FedEx, Jet Blue and DLA Energy) joined 150+ stakeholders in displaying interest in developing the chain. Five major bio-coproduct processors employing sugar pathways also shared their requirements.
• A focus on supply chain development that benefits all stakeholders must include co-products. FL F2F2 spurred the citrus and cattle feed industries to define a production path using a RFS2 candidate feedstock (sugar beets) to increase success probability.
• Aviation stakeholders can motivate supply chain development beyond SAJF by leveraging systems integration, technical capabilities and public-private partnerships. We win when the “tide” rises for all.
• Ultimate success will be local, and can be triggered by small grants.

I urge CAAFI stakeholders to evaluate what the FL project teams accomplished with USDA Rural Development.

Follow the TE(A)Mplate. It will serve you well!
Rich Altman, Executive Director Emeritus

Four Algae-Based Biofuels Projects to Receive DOE Funding

13 September 2017 – Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that four additional projects will be funded from the Productivity Enhanced Algae and Toolkits funding up to $8.8 million. Award recipients included Colorado School of Mines, University of California-San Diego, University of Toledo, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The goal is for the selected projects to deliver and share ways for increasing the productivity of algae in order to accelerate future innovations and the development of a vibrant bioeconomy. To read more about the funding opportunity and the projects that were funded click here.

CEC Announces Grants for “Renewable Intermediate Fuel Production for Jet Fuel in Heavy-Duty Transportation Sector”

31 August 2017 – The California Energy Commission (CEC) is offering grants to eligible research and pre-commercial projects for the production of renewable intermediate biofuel production supporting the jet fuel industry. The goal of this California Low-Carbon Fuels Research and Development Program solicitation is to support California’s transportation sector and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Funding award minimums and maximums per project are $1.5 million and $3 million, respectively.

To be considered for a grant, applicants must submit proposals by 5:00pm PT on October 13, 2017. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the CEC Grant Funding Opportunity.

AltAir Wins Contract to Provide up to 60 Mil. Gallons of Partially Renewable Marine Diesel to Navy’s Rocky Mountain/West Coast Region

14 August 2017—The Defense Logistics Agency’s Rocky Mountain/West Coast region solicitation recently resulted in a supply contract being awarded to AltAir Fuels for an $86 million acquisition of 60 million gallons of F76 marine diesel with 30% renewable content in FY’18. This solicitation, which invites bids for renewable fuel deliveries, clearly demonstrates continued DLA and Navy interest in such production. With a unit price of $1.43 per gallon of fuel, the new AltAir/U.S. Navy fuel contract is an encouraging sign that renewable fuels are becoming cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels. To help continue the overall maturation of the feedstock supply chain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will use Commodity Credit Corporation funding of up to $15 million to AltAir in matching funding of $0.25 per gallon delivered. For more information on the contract, click here.

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