biofuels

Alaska Airlines Makes Significant Investment in Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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Alaska Airlines has finalized an agreement with biofuel company Gevo Inc., to purchase its most significant sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) offtake commitment to date – 185 million gallons of SAF over five years starting in 2026. This agreement was developed alongside others in the Oneworld® Alliance.
Alaska Airlines Makes Significant Investment in Sustainable Aviation Fuel
Courtesy of Alaska Air

Alaska Airlines is a member of oneworld® global alliance  and this agreement falls under the purview of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that Alaska Airlines and Gevo signed in March 2022, laying the groundwork for the 14 world-class airlines in the alliance to potentially purchase 200 million gallons of SAF per year, from Gevo’s future commercial production operations. Gevo and Alaska Airlines previously partnered in 2016 to demonstrate the use of the first cellulosic renewable jet fuel specified for use on a commercial airline flight, produced from the sugars of wood waste. This Agreement with Alaska Airlines expands the list of committed airline partners and supports Gevo’s pursuit of its stated goal of producing and commercializing a billion gallons of SAF by 2030.

“As we continue to grow our partnerships with oneworld airlines, I’m personally gratified to see that Alaska Airlines has joined our list of partners,” said Gevo CEO Dr. Patrick Gruber. “Alaska was the first airline to fly on a Gevo experimental fuel that we made from the cellulosic fiber of wood waste, providing a pathway and proof that waste woods can be used to make sustainable aviation fuel. When Alaska Airlines receives fuel from one of our Net-Zero facilities, they will do so having been a part of some of our very important initial testing and delivery of sustainable aviation fuel.”

Alaska Airlines is committed to alternatives that assist in its goal of reducing emissions, including the use of greener alternatives and the prioritization of programs that help them safely burn less fuel. They have committed to pathways that will help them achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, with the stated goal of being “the most sustainable and fuel-efficient U.S. airline.”

“Using sustainable aviation fuel is a significant part of Alaska’s five-part path to reach net zero carbon emissions, and we are excited about this agreement with Gevo – alongside our partners American Airlines and others in the oneworld alliance.” said Diana Birkett Rakow, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability at Alaska Airlines. “We also recognize that there is significant work required ahead – including public policy action – to make SAF a viable, affordable option at scale.”

To make renewable jet fuel, Gevo utilizes waste starch (or sugars) from field corn that has been utilized in the production of high protein animal feed. These non-edible waste products are fermented into alcohol and then chemically converted to a renewable jet fuel through proprietary processes. This fuel is an ASTM tested and approved drop-in replacement for fossil-based jet fuel.

The agreement with Alaska Airlines is subject to certain conditions, including Gevo developing, financing, and constructing one or more production facilities to produce the SAF contemplated by the Agreement.

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