Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK) has flown two flights fueled with Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO) renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) made from sustainable US corn, the company said.
The two Alaska Airlines flights flew from Seattle to San Francisco International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
While the 1,500 gallons of biofuel used on these flights have a minimal impact to Alaska Airlines´ overall greenhouse gas emissions, if the airline were able to replace 20 percent of its entire fuel supply at Sea-Tac Airport, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 142,000 metric tons of CO2. This is equivalent to taking approximately 30,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
Alaska estimates the 20 percent biofuel blend it is using for the two flights will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an estimated 50 percent. The demonstration flights mark the first biofuel produced from a new feedstock to be certified and approved by ASTM International, the industry´s fuel standards association, since 2011. Gevo´s production process converts bio-based isobutanol into an alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) fuel.
Alaska Airlines is teaming up with the Washington State University-led Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) to advance the production and use of alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals, the tree limbs and branches that remain after a forest harvest. In the coming months, Alaska will fly a demonstration flight using 1,000 gallons of Gevo´s ATJ being produced by the NARA team and its many partners.
Alaska has set an ambitious goal of using sustainable aviation biofuel on all flights at one or more of its primary airports by 2020. In a step toward meeting this milestone, Alaska is collaborating with Boeing and the Port of Seattle on a biofuel infrastructure feasibility study for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, together with its partner regional airlines, serves more than 100 cities through an expansive network in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Gevo is a renewable technology, chemical products, and next generation biofuels company. Gevo has developed proprietary technology that uses a combination of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering to focus primarily on the production of isobutanol, as well as related products from renewable feedstocks.