The aviation industry is working on reducing the environmental impact of using hydrocarbon based jet fuels and is searching for solutions in the bio-based alternative jet fuels (AJFs), which provide lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Jet fuel accounts for 10.1% (2016) of energy supplied to the US transportation sector. Globally, jet fuel consumption is estimated at 94 billion gallons in 2012.
In the meantime, air traffic continues to steadily increase. The US Energy Information Administration projected that revenue miles in the US will increase from 4 trillion miles in 2015, to 9.6 trillion miles by 2040.
Several organizations such as FAA, US Air Force, US Navy, DOD, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Union are promoting and committed to increase the use bio-based jet fuels.
The company is following closely new developments to use “drop in” bio-jet fuel utilizing a soon to be approved Ethanol to Jet Fuel (ETJ) pathway.
Once the ASTM certifies the new standard and the DOE approves the ETJ pathway, existing 1st generation corn to ethanol plants can be upgraded to produce bio-jet fuel.
The technology for upgrading the production of ethanol to jet fuel is available (Modified alcohol dehydration, olefin oligomerization and a-olefin hydrogenation) and can be efficiently implemented once the industry approvals are available.
The company’s 2nd generation plants will not need to retrofit the technology as provisions are in place to produce jet fuel blend-stocks.
Preliminary studies show that GHG emissions are reduced by 16% relative to using petroleum jet fuel. In addition, the company anticipates that current ethanol to corn crushing margins and operating margins will be significantly improved once ETJ pathway is implemented.
For additional information, please contact the company.