Avfuel Corporation is making a multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels—a company that is developing technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used in existing refineries to produce aviation fuel. In September 2021, United and Honeywell announced their own joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder. (earlier post).
Avfuel, a provider of fuel and services—including sustainable fuel and initiatives—to the global aviation industry and the leading independent supplier in the United States, is making the investment through its subsidiary, Avfuel Technology Initiatives Corporation (ATIC).
When calculating the fuel production carbon life cycle from field to wingtip, Alder’s technology has the ability to produce an ultra-low to negative carbon crude oil that, when refined, meets current jet fuel specifications. Alder’s biocrude refined into SAF is currently in the process of global certification as a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel and anticipates the SAF will become available in the first quarter of 2024.
As part of the agreement, Avfuel will purchase 1 billion gallons of SAF over a 20-year period, and use the SAF to supply both business and commercial aviation globally. Avfuel’s purchase agreement is the first long-term offtake from a fuel supplier, making this partnership the largest publicly-announced SAF agreement yet in the business aviation market and opening the door to realizing business aviation’s commitment to obtaining net-zero status by 2050.
According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), US forestry residues and agricultural residues alone could provide enough biomass energy to generate more than 17 billion gallons of jet fuel and displace 75% of US aviation fuel consumption.
If the US were broadly to adopt regenerative agricultural practices, which capture more carbon in healthier soil compared to traditional methods, the US could generate an additional seven billion gallons of SAF, which would completely replace the country’s current fossil jet fuel consumption.
Prior to founding Alder, Bryan Sherbacow, Alder Fuels CEO, built the world's first SAF refinery in collaboration with Honeywell and United Airlines in Paramount, Calif.
Alder’s research is supported by the US Defense Logistics Agency, the DOE and a partnership with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), focused on developing technology to process organic waste and sustainable, non-food plant material into carbon-negative transportation fuels.