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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

Consortium to Determine Feasibility of Using Waste Biomass to Produce SAJF in South Africa

24 May 2018 – It’s been announced that a consortium made up of Fetola, the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, and SkyNRG will launch a Waste to Wing project that will determine the feasibility of using waste biomass to produce sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) in South Africa. The consortium will work with small and medium-sized suppliers of the feedstock to demonstrate the pre-treatment process and conversion into SAJF that conforms to the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials’ sustainability standard. The project is supported with approximately $1.4 million from the European Union’s Switch Africa Green Program. The project will leverage lessons learned and share best practices with other African nations.

Red Rock Biofuels Announces Groundbreaking on First Commercial Facility, Orders FT Reactors, Catalysts from Velocys

May 21, 2018 – Red Rock Biofuels has announced that the groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s first commercial facility in Lakeview, Oregon, will be held on July 18, 2018. The Lakeview facility will use Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology to convert forestry residues into diesel and jet fuel. The facility is expected to turn 136,000 tons of waste woody material into 15 million gallons of drop-in transportation fuels annually.

The groundbreaking announcement comes just a few weeks after Red Rock provided a “notice to proceed” to Velocys to produce the FT reactors and catalysts for the Red Rock biorefinery.

Red Rock Biofuels was one of the initial recipients of Defense Production Act funding back in 2014 to enable the construction of biorefineries. The fuels are intended to be cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, be military grade, and have greater than 50% reduction in GHG emission compared to conventional fuels.

CAAFI’s Assistant Director, Chris Tindal, will attend the Red Rock groundbreaking on behalf of CAAFI.

Port of Seattle and 13 Airlines Announce Partnership to Plan for Making Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel Available at Sea-Tac Airport

4 May 2018 – The Port of Seattle along with 13 airlines announced they have partnered to create a work plan for providing sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) to all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), with the goal of replacing 10 percent of the traditional jet fuel supply within 10 years and increasing to 50 percent by 2050. Airlines typically use approximately 700 million gallons of fuel per year at Sea-Tac.

This effort will continue the Port of Seattle’s work to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and assist airlines in transitioning to SAJF. In addition to planning for the use of SAJF, the work will also explore other mechanisms that could reduce carbon and emissions, including technology, operations, infrastructure, and future aircraft technology. The airlines in the partnership include Alaska Airlines, ANA, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Horizon Air, Icelandair, Lufthansa, Spirit Airlines, ABX Air, Air Transport International, Atlas Air, Lufthansa Cargo, and Singapore Airlines Cargo.

Read more about this partnership here.

USDA AND DOE Announce New Funding Opportunities

Two of CAAFI’s chief collaborators, USDA and DOE, have announced funding opportunities applicable to the development of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF).

Earlier this week, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) announced their Request for Applications (RFA) for Sustainable Agricultural Systems program that will consist of eight $10 million awards. Letter of Intent Deadline – June 27, 2018. Application Deadline – October 10, 2018. Applications must address one or more of the following 25-year goals:

• Increase growth of agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) from the current 1.5 percent to 2 percent per year and agricultural production by 2 percent annually.
• Improve water and nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient use efficiency by 50 percent.
• Reduce losses due to environmental stresses, insects and other invertebrate pests, weeds, or diseases by 20 percent in crops and animals used for food, fiber, or bioproducts production.
• Produce 50 billion gallons of biofuels and 50 billion pounds of biobased chemicals and bioproducts in the next 25 years.
• Reduce food-borne illnesses to 8.5 cases per 100,000 people in the U.S. population per year.

And yesterday, the U.S. Secretary of Energy announced four funding opportunities totaling up to $78 million, including:

• BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (up to $28 million)
• Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems (up to $15 million)
• Process Development for Advanced Biofuels and Biopower (up to $20 million)
• Affordable and Sustainable Energy Crops (up to $15 million)

Letters of Intent for these FOAs are due May 30, 2018, and full applications are due June 27, 2018.

For more information on these DOE funding opportunities click here.

Air Canada Saved 160 Tonnes of Carbon on Earth Day through Innovative Biojet Fuel Project at Toronto Pearson Airport

4 May 2018 - Air Canada saved 160 tonnes of carbon on 22 domestic flights on Earth Day through an innovative biofuel demonstration project at Toronto-Pearson Airport. Under the project, coordinated by Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI), Air Canada is a leading partner, introducing 230,000 litres of sustainable biofuel blended into the airport’s multi-user fuel supply system to show the feasibility of biofuel use in shared fueling systems Canadian airports.

Although biojet has been consumed in Canada in the past, all previous projects have required dedicated tanker trucks directly fueling aircraft. This project at Toronto Pearson is the first of its kind in Canada to blend biojet into the existing multi-user, co-mingled airport fuel supply system, thereby highlighting its feasibility and improving process efficiency. These unique fuel operations are part of CBSCI, a three-year collaborative project between 14 stakeholder organizations working to enable a biojet supply chain in Canada. Primary funding for the project, apart from the fuel purchase by Air Canada, comes from the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN), a non-profit organization funded by the Canadian aerospace industry and Canada’s federal Network of Centres of Excellence.

Read Air Canada’s full press release here.

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