Flight plan: 14 practical steps towards commercial aviation biofuels now

June 28, 2013 |

PRODUCTION PRIORITIES

5. Identify means to expedite approvals by ASTM and the EPA. For the former, identify means to speed up the process in critical areas, such as generation of test data to evaluate the performance of proposed fuels and engine testing. Expediting this can speed up time to market of new conversion technologies.

MASBI-EPA-waiting

6. Allow producers to optimize product portfolios. The production of renewable diesel as part of the refiner’s product portfolio should be fully supported, allowing for improved renewable jet fuel supply and improved overall economics of biofuel production.

MASBI-HEFA-costs

The Digest’s Take.

It takes several years and a slew of tests to get a new pathway approved — ATJ and 100% drop-in fuels still await their greenlight — and time is money in investing. It’s an area that, if unaddressed, will choke off early stage investment that needs “speed to market” to ensure the kind of investment returns that bring capital to higher-risk projects and support the venture capital model.

Notable milestones to date

EPA green lights camelina, energy cane but keeps the lid on arundo. New renewable feedstock OKs. Good news, bad, neutral? The Digest looks in depth at the latest from EPA.

Virent Delivers Plant-Based Jet Fuel to USAF Lab for Testing. Produces Drop-In Jet Fuel from 100% Renewable Plant Sugars

Fly the (environmentally) friendly skies: United Airlines executed a definitive purchase agreement with AltAir Fuels, and has agreed to buy 15 million gallons of lower-carbon, renewable jet fuel over a three-year period. AltAir expects to begin delivering five million gallons of renewable jet fuel per year to United starting in 2014.

In today’s Digest we explore more of MASBI’s 14 practical steps to accelerate aviation biofuels to commercialization — and the state of play in financing, policy and sustainability. Lots of charts on costs, approval pathways, waiting times, financing and feedstock availability. Plus, links to the full MASBI report and the executive summary, by visiting the page links below.

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