Fourteen major North American and one European airlines have signed a deal with Seattle-based AltAir Fuels to buy 750 million gallons of renewable jet fuel and diesel based on camelina.
Camelina has already been tested in commercial aircraft earlier this year by Japan Airlines and KLM and is being promoted as a sustainable jet fuel because it can be used in rotation with food crops or grown on marginal land.
AltAir Fuels will produce the renewable fuels using camelina oil sourced from US company Sustainable Oils at a new facility at Anacortes in Washington State.
The new facility will have a capacity of over 100 million gallons per year and will begin operations in 2012. AltAir Fuels will supply Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with the renewable fuels, where it will replace around 10% petroleum consumption.
Over ten years, AltAir Fuels claims that using camelina-based fuel blended with conventional petroleum-based jet fuel and diesel will reduce carbon emissions by around 14 billion pounds.
The participating airlines, led by the Air Transport Association (ATA), include American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Lufthansa, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and US Airways.
“[The] announcement reinforces the proactive steps that airlines are taking to stimulate competition in the aviation fuel supply chain, contribute to the creation of green jobs, and promote energy security through economically viable alternatives that also demonstrate environmental benefits,” says Glenn Tilton, ATA chair and United Airlines CEO.
For further information:
Aviation fuel efficiency hardly improved since 2000, says report (26-Nov)
Japan Airlines hopes to be using biofuels in next five years (3-Feb)
17 December 2009