Gevo, Alaska Airlines sign renewable jet fuel agreement

By Gevo Inc. | May 07, 2015

Gevo Inc. recently announced that it has signed a strategic alliance agreement with Alaska Airlines to purchase Gevo's renewable jet fuel and fly the first-ever commercial flight on alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ).

The demonstration flight is expected to occur after Gevo receives ASTM International certification for its fuel, sometime in mid to late 2015. Gevo has been working through the rigorous ASTM process for six years, which includes extensive engine testing and data analysis by all of the major original equipment manufacturers to establish the specification for this drop in fuel. Once approved, this fuel can be seamlessly integrated into the existing distribution infrastructure and onto commercial aircraft.

"Developing a domestic, competitively priced, sustainable supply of biofuels is fundamental to the future of American aviation," said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of external relations at Alaska Airlines. "The cost of fossil-based jet fuel is one of the largest expenses for airlines. This investment in Gevo's ATJ will help reduce our exposure to high fuel prices, minimize our carbon footprint and demonstrate growing demand for fuel alternatives."

"A sustainable biofuels industry would help insulate airlines from fuel price spikes, enabling them to offer economical air travel while remaining profitable, while helping meet their environmental goals, and spur economic growth within and outside of aviation," said Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. "We greatly appreciate Alaska Airlines as a commercial partner as we move towards commercialization."

Gevo's patented ATJ is a clean burning, homegrown, drop-in jet fuel, which has the potential to deliver aviation biofuels at scale and at competitive cost.

Alaska Airlines was the first U.S. airline to fly multiple commercial passenger flights using a biofuel from used cooking oil. The carrier flew 75 flights between Seattle and Washington, D.C., and Seattle and Portland in November 2011. The airline has set a goal to using sustainable aviation biofuel at one or more of its airports by 2020.