7 airlines sign letters of intent to negotiate purchase of biomass-derived jet fuel from Solena Fuels; up to 16M gallons of fuel per year
A core group of airlines has signed letters of intent with Solena Fuels, LLC for a future supply of jet fuel derived exclusively from biomass to be produced in northern California. Solena’s “GreenSky California” biomass-to-liquids (BTL) facility in Northern California (Santa Clara County) will utilize post-recycled urban and agricultural wastes to produce up to 16 million gallons of neat jet fuel (as well as 14 million gallon equivalents of other energy products) per year by 2015 to support airline operations at Oakland (OAK), San Francisco (SFO) and/or San Jose (SJC). (Earlier post.)
The project will divert approximately 550,000 metric tons of waste that otherwise would go to a landfill while producing jet fuel with lower emissions of greenhouse gases and local pollutants than petroleum-based fuels.
The core of Solena’s three-step solution is its patented Solena Plasma Gasification (SPG) technology, which is capable of producing a synthetic fuel gas (BioSynGas) from the thermal conversion of bio-based hydrocarbons. In the second step of the overall process, Solena uses the Fischer-Tropsch reaction to transform the syngas into light FT liquids and FT wax. The third step upgrades the FT products into jet fuel.
Solena Fuels’ reference BTL design processes approximately 500,000 tonnes of feedstock into 16 million gallons of sustainable fuel, nine million gallons of bio-naptha and 20MW net of exportable electricity. These offtakes are in addition to the facility producing all of its own energy to operate the facility.
In 2010, British Airways announced that it would, in partnership with the Solena Group, establish Europe’s first plant for sustainable jet-fuel and plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet from 2014.
Today’s announcement reinforces the ongoing steps that ATA member airlines are taking to stimulate competition in jet fuel production, contribute to the creation of green jobs, and promote energy security through economically viable alternatives that also demonstrate global and local environmental benefits. It is through the leadership and commitment of ATA member airlines and the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) that we are able to bring this groundbreaking alternative aviation fuels project in California to fruition.—Air Transport Association (ATA) president and CEO Nicholas E. Calio
American Airlines and United Continental Holdings led the development of the agreement with Solena and were joined by five additional ATA member airlines—Alaska Airlines, FedEx, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and US Airways—and ATA associate member Air Canada in signing the letters of intent, as well as Frontier Airlines and Lufthansa German Airlines. ATA is a co-founding and co-leading member of CAAFI, which is dedicated to the development and deployment of commercially viable alternative aviation fuels.