A life cycle analysis of the carbon footprint of camelina-based biojet fuel in the journal Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy concludes that the renewable fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 75 percent compared to traditional petroleum-based jet fuel, according to Sustainable Oils, a producer and marketer of camelina-based fuels. The study also found that “green” diesel made through the same process reduces CO2 emissions by 80 percent.
The research, in collaboration with UOP, a Honeywell company, was conducted at Michigan Tech University and was based on camelina grown in Montana and processed into biojet fuel using UOP hydroprocessing technology.
Sustainable Oils, a subsidiary of Targeted Growth, says camelina-based biojet fuel is well positioned to be the renewable fuel of choice for airlines and the U.S. military once the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) approves a specification for renewable jet fuel, known as Hydrotreated Renewable Jet (HRJ). The standard is expected to be fully approved in 2011.
Camelina-based jet fuel has been tested by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, and Japan Airlines. In 2009, the U.S. Navy and the Air Force contracted with Sustainable Oils for more than 140,000 gallons of camelina biojet fuel. Just recently, both groups exercised contract options for additional camelina biojet fuel.
Over the summer, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, Portland International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Spokane International Airport and Washington State University created an initiative to promote aviation biofuel development in the Pacific Northwest. The “Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest” project will look at biomass options to jet fuel within a four-state area as a way to reduce their carbon footprint.
Also over the summer, British Airways signed an agreement with Solena Group to help build Europe’s first biofuel plant, amid plans to begin using the fuel in its fleet starting in 2014.