Port of Seattle brings all elements of Biofuel Sector to Summit
Keynote Speaker points to Long Term Perspective
Boeing commits to fill up new B737 Max6 as they leave Seattle
Somehow an Ambassador’s ’s keynote speech at a Summit on Sustainable Aviation Fuels, citing Kenny “the Snake” Stabler and Shakespeare (Brutus and Cassius) is appropriate for it sets the perspective on the solution timeline and possible benefit. The homily in short form is “throw long.”
The Port of Seattle assembled the first-ever Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit to talk about ways to move the industry from fossil fuels to fuels made from wood, used cooking oil, crops, or even garbage.
Participants included every segment of the biofuel sector- the producers of the fuel, the distributors, the buyers/airlines, environmental advocates, governments and academia/scientists. Their points of view helped define the length and breadth of biofuels.
“This is another step in our decade-long journey to encourage the adoption of sustainable fuels and help commercial aviation earn its license to keep growing,” Sheila Remes, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ vice president of strategy, said in a news release. “We have great customers such as Alaska Airlines that have made good progress in adopting the use of biofuels. We hope this new option will make it easier for them and others to demonstrate our industry’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.”
The biofuel option will be available for customers accepting new airplanes at Boeing’s delivery centers in Seattle and Everett, Wash. Boeing says it also plans to use biofuels for some of its flight tests at Seattle’s Boeing Field, and is working to offer the option at its South Carolina Delivery Center as well.
“in 2016 we bought the biggest sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) purchase ever — 77 million gallons of a 90/10 blend — AltAir supplied that fuel, and we got it for a penny cheaper than straight conventional energy. They also supplied 60 million of a 70/30 blend in 2018 at a cost of $1.91 a gallon, and in between they provided another 70/30 58 million gallons. And in these last two buys, they were made since we left. The navy and the marines recognize it and pretty publicly it gives them an edge. It makes them better, more flexible, more adaptable. “
It’s what he described once as a New Normal
“You don’t think of the ardent environmentalist when you think of the Marines, you think of guys who like to blow stuff up, but we used to use these big generators to provide power [even in forward areas], and at night you could hear the generators and our adversaries knew ‘that’s where the Americans are’, and now we have been able to move away from that, and they have become even better at being the most lethal and effective expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known. And we now have SEAL teams who can now operate on net zero energy and can stay out indefinitely.
“Now. thanks to the Port Commissioners and the airlines, the technology for sustainable aviation fuels s beginning to move from the navy to the commercial world, and in part it is because of that market seeding that happened when the Pentagon, which is the world’s largest user of fossil fuels on earth, showed that it could change, and do it in a way that made it a better organization.
“So can the private sector. But we have got to take the technologies of today and use them today. There are always science projects going on, and always there will be more efficient and better methods in the future, but we have the technologies that will take us forward now, and all sorts of feedstocks like waste oils and fats and municipal solid waste and wood waste and more.
A lot of companies are now buying carbon offsets and that’s an important market but a better way is to start buying a carbon solution. For example, in corporate aviation where usually that fuel costs 2-3X what commercial airlines pay, because it is bought in small quantities. But the impact is outsized when big companies that have big corporate aviation needs begin to buy SAF, and the word of that notion spreads. It used to be that corporations had to choose between the environment and the bottom line, today you can do both.”
Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman
“Secretary Mabus advised us to set a goal. If it’s good enough for the Navy, it’s good enough for SeaTac airport, and we’ve established a partnership with 13 airlines with a goal of moving to 10 percent renewable fuels by 2028, that’s 80 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuels, more than are made in the market today worldwide, so it’s not a trivial amount, and it is intended as a clear market signal. In our 2019 budget we have allocated $5M to developing and sourcing feedstocks and establishing a supply chain at the Port. And we have made passing Washington Legislature Bill 1110 (for a Washington state Low Carbon Fuel Standard) a real priority. Hopefully we close the door, so that what is produced here in renewable fuels can stay here instead of heading for California, Oregon or British Columbia where low carbon standards are already in place. What we have to do is to take the most current science and move forward.”
EPIC Fuels has been selected by Boeing to provide technical and logistical support in transporting sustainable aviation fuel for a new aircraft delivery program. As part of Boeing’s ongoing commitment to protect the environment, it has begun offering customers the option of powering their commercial airplane delivery flights with sustainable aviation fuel for aircraft delivered from Boeing facilities in Washington state’s Puget Sound region, with work underway to provide sustainable aviation fuel for Boeing’s South Carolina customers.
Alaska Airlines, an early pioneer in embracing sustainable fuels, is the first participant in the Boeing initiative. Later this year Alaska will take possession of three 737 MAX airplanes and for the delivery flights, they will be powered by a blend of biofuel and traditional jet fuel transported by EPIC Fuels.
“As a world-class fuel provider, EPIC Fuels recognizes the need to find viable, sustainable and safe alternatives to petroleum-only based
aviation fuel,” said Kai Sorenson, Director of Commercial Sales for EPIC Fuels. “We’ve gained tremendous working knowledge on the transport, safe handling and blending of biofuel.”
“Programs such as Boeing’s option to provide biofuel are made possible not only by their tireless commitment to protect the environment, but also because of the many demonstration flights in previous years that have helped to identify and fast track technologies that can improve the environmental performance of alternative aviation fuels”, Sorenson added.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group
As aviation leaders, our business is to bring people, cultures, and economies together. We recognize the need for dynamic, new innovation to help reduce aircraft greenhouse gas emissions beyond existing advances, while continuing to increase the socioeconomic good that air transport provides to the world.
Whilst we recognize the need to drive further efficiency gains through technological solutions and operational efficiencies, we also have an opportunity to deliver significant environmental and social benefits as we seek to lower the carbon intensity of our fuels overall by supporting the development, certification, and commercial use of lower carbon renewable fuels, derived from environmentally and socially sustainable sources.
Therefore, we, the undersigned air carriers and other aviation industry organizations declare our commitment to advance the development, certification, and commercial use of drop-in sustainable aviation fuels. Collectively, we represent, approximately 33% of commercial aviation fuel demand, and in assessing the sustainability and commercial use of a bio-derived aviation fuel, the following considerations at a minimum should be addressed by verifiable means:
Jet fuel plant sources should be developed in a manner which is non-competitive with food and where biodiversity impacts are minimized; in addition, the cultivation of those plant sources should not jeopardize drinking water supplies.
Total lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from plant growth, harvesting, processing, and end-use should be significantly reduced compared to those associated with fuels form fossil sources.
In developing economies, development projects should include provisions for outcomes that improve socioeconomic conditions for small-scale farmers who rely on agriculture to feed them and their families, and that do not require the involuntary displacement of local populations.
High conservation value areas and native eco-systems should not be cleared and converted for jet fuel plant source development.
These criteria should be consistent with, and complementary to emerging internationally-recognized standards such as those being developed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.
We agree to work with leading organizations and individuals in the biofuels arena, not limited to the aviation industry, to develop a world-leading fact base on sustainable aviation fuels, which will:
Provide a body of peer-reviewed research and best practices, including fuel lifecycle emissions assessments, which will support the practical application of common sustainability criteria to the development, certification, and commercial use of sustainable aviation fuels.
We will work in conjunction with the report of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels as a basis for sustainability research and certification efforts. The Working Group will identify and research feedstock-specific sustainability indicators and criteria to contribute to the Roundtable.
Support the development of government policies which promote the development, certification, and commercial use of sustainable, lower carbon aviation fuels
We are committed to working in partnership where appropriate with governments, other industries and representatives of civil society on credible and feasible actions in response to global climate change concerns and other socioeconomic challenges.
We strongly encourage other aviation industry participants to join us in working together to help accelerate the development, certification, and commercial use of environmentally and socially sustainable aviation fuel.
Alaska Airlines says it will use a blend of biofuel and traditional fuel when it takes delivery of three Boeing 737 MAX airplanes this year. Boeing and Alaska have previously worked together to experiment with biofuel blends on airline flights, but now the arrangement is going beyond the experimental stage.
“We congratulate our partners at Boeing for operationalizing a drop-in sustainable aviation jet fuel option,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of external relations. “We’re excited to not only take advantage of the first biofuel delivery, but to continue working together to advance and scale mainstream adoption of sustainable fuel and other practices to enhance the aviation industry’s ability to do good.”
The biofuel will be produced from agricultural waste at World Energy’s refinery in Paramount, Calif., and blended with traditional jet fuel for commercial use. Texas-based EPIC Fuels, which supported Boeing’s evaluation of biofuels in its ecoDemonstrator flight test program, will ship the biofuel blend to Boeing’s delivery centers.
Share this article: