Two Alaska Airlines jets departed on June 7th fueled by the first alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) made from sustainable U.S. corn. The two Alaska Airlines (ALK) flights departed with Gevo (GEVO) fuel and flew from Seattle to San Francisco International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. “Alaska is committed to doing its part to reduce its carbon emissions. Advancing the use of alternative jet fuels is a key part of our emission reduction strategy,” said Joseph Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ senior vice president of communications and external relations. “Gevo’s jet fuel product is an important step forward, in that it has the potential to be scalable and cost effective, without sacrificing performance.” While the 1,500 gallons of biofuel used on these flights have a minimal impact to Alaska Airlines’ overall greenhouse gas emissions, if the airline were able to replace 20% of its entire fuel supply at Sea-Tac Airport, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 142,000 metric tons of CO2. This is equivalent to taking approximately 30,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year. Alaska estimates the 20% biofuel blend it is using for the two flights will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an estimated 50%. The demonstration flights mark the first biofuel produced from a new feedstock to be certified and approved by ASTM International, the industry’s fuel standards association, since 2011. Additionally, these flights are a successful step toward the production of new fuels that will help airlines to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Gevo’s production process converts bio-based isobutanol into an alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) fuel. When compared to other fuel options, Gevo believes that its renewable ATJ has the potential to offer benefits to operating cost, capital cost, feedstock availability and scalability, and will translate across geographies.
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