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Biomass Materials Technology

Alaska Airlines takes to the skies on Gevo’s fuel made from alcohol.

An Alaska Airlines jet is fueled with renewable Gevo biofuel on Tuesday June 7, 2016, in advance of two demonstration flights powered by the first alcohol-to-jet fuel made from sustainable U.S. corn.There was something a little special about two of Alaska Airlines flights on the 7th June heading from Seattle to San Francisco and Washington. The passengers wont have noticed but it could mark a big step forward in the journey to new fuels that help airlines to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For these were the first two commercial flights using Gevos renewable alcohol to jet fuel (ATJ). When compared to other fuel options,Gevobelieves that its renewable ATJ has the potential to offer the most optimized operating cost, capital cost, feedstock availability, scalability, and translation across geographies.

The Gevo process turns its bio-based isobutanol into jet fuel that meets the requirements of the recently revised ASTM D7566 (Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons) for up to a 30 percent fuel blend. The twoAlaska Airlinesflights today utilized a 20 percent fuel blend.

Alaska Airlineshas been a leader in seeking more sustainable fuels and these flights are part of the companys long-term commitment to its sustainability strategy.Alaska Airlines ( @AlaskaAir)has been a partner withGevoin the commercialization of its ATJ, and has committed to other initiatives to reduce GHGs, most recently partnering withBoeingand thePort of Seattleon a$250,000Biofuel Infrastructure Feasibility Study forSeattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Passengers on-board these flights were given a passenger handout with details about thebiofuel flights.Sustainably grown U.S. corn is converted into renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel by Gevo, Inc.

These two commercial flights represent an important advance in biofuels for an industry that contributes about 2 percent of the total GHG emissions worldwide, according to theInternational Civil Aviation Organization, aUnited Nationsagency. The agency also expects growth in air travel worldwide will result in double the number of passengers and flights by 2030. These additional flights will dramatically increase jet fuel consumption and GHG emissions.

Alaska is committed to doing its part to reduce its carbon emissions and advancing the use of alternative jet fuels is a key part of our emission reduction strategy. Gevos jet fuel product is an important step forward, in that it has the potential to be scalable and cost effective, without sacrificing performance, saidJoseph Sprague,Alaska Airlinessenior vice president of Communications and External Relations.

Flying a commercial flight with our jet fuel made from renewable resources has been a vision of ours for many years, and it has taken many years of work to get this far. We believe our technology has the potential to be the lowest-cost, renewable carbon-based jet fuel, given the efficacy of our technology, saidPat Gruber,GevoCEO. We look forward to moving forward withAlaska, and others in the airline industry, to make renewable jet fuel widely successful as a product that substitutes for fossil fuels, and ultimately helps to reduce carbon.

Interested in this bio-based development, then you may also be interested in…

Industry giants Gevo & Clariant announce revolutionary new biotechnology project.

JetBlue Airways commits to further development of bio-material use.

Gevos fresh start ensures a bright future for bio-based Isobutanol.

USDA announces $21 million for research and development in the bio-economy.

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