United Airlines launches regularly flights using sustainable biofuel

United Airlines has become the first US airline to begin use of commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights with the departure of United Flight 708 from Los Angeles International Airport, the company said.

The launch marks a significant milestone in the commercial aviation industry by moving beyond demonstration flights and test programs to the use of advanced biofuels for United´s ongoing operations.

United has agreed to purchase up to 15 million gallons of sustainable biofuel from AltAir Paramount over a three-year period. The airline has begun using the biofuel in its daily operations at LAX, storing and delivering it in the same way as traditional fuel. To highlight this achievement, United will operate flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco with the dedicated use of AltAir Paramount renewable fuel for two weeks, while also integrating this fuel into its regular operations at the airport.

United has collaborated with AltAir since 2009 with a common goal of bringing an ongoing source of sustainable aviation biofuels to an airport. AltAir retrofitted portions of the Paramount Petroleum Corporation — a subsidiary of Alon USA Energy — refinery in Paramount, California, to create a 35 million gallon per year advanced renewable fuel unit, bringing new clean energy jobs to the Los Angeles area.

The facility converts sustainably sourced non-edible, natural oils and agricultural wastes into jet fuel and is expected to provide a greater than 60 percent reduction in lifecycle carbon emissions when compared to fuel produced from traditional petroleum. AltAir´s fuel meets the same standard as traditional jet fuel, ASTM D1655. In addition, AltAir is pursuing certification under the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) – a global sustainability standard and certification system that recognizes biomass and biofuel producers that adhere to stringent social responsibility and environmental criteria.

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents.

AltAir Paramount is a 35 million gallon per year renewable fuels company that operates at Paramount Petroleum Corporation´s refinery in Paramount, CA. AltAir is an innovator in the renewable fuels sector, providing a drop-in replacement to conventional fuels. AltAir Paramount is a subsidiary of Alon USA Energy with its partners being Vandewater Capital Holdings and New Energy Capital.