United Airlines to use renewable jet fuel on California flights

04 June 2013 18:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--United Airlines will purchase 15m gal of renewable jet fuel over a three-year period from a refinery in Los Angeles, California, to cut carbon dioxide emissions, United said on Tuesday.

The renewable jet fuel, produced by AltAir Fuels, will be used on United flights departing from the Los Angeles airport.

The purchase agreement will allow United to buy the advanced biofuel at a price competitive with traditional, petroleum-based jet fuel. AltAir expects to begin delivering 5m gal/year of renewable jet fuel to United starting in 2014. 

In order to produce the cleaner-burning fuel, AltAir Fuels will retrofit idled parts of an existing petroleum refinery to become a 30m gal advanced biofuel refinery and will produce low-carbon, renewable jet fuel and other renewable products. 

Once complete, the project will be the nation’s first refinery capable of in-line production of both renewable jet and diesel fuels.

According to AltAir, these biofuels are drop-in replacements for petroleum-based fuel, requiring no modification to factory-standard engines or aircraft, with which they are fully compatible.

AltAir Fuels’ renewable jet fuel is expected to achieve at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.

“This refinery is important for two timely and significant reasons,” said AltAir’s president and COO Bryan Sherbacow. “First, the industry is delivering on the promise of commercial production of advanced biofuels that move beyond additives, like ethanol and biodiesel, to drop-in, replacement low-carbon fuels. Second, this project demonstrates the practical efficiencies these fuels allow by fully integrating into an operating petroleum refinery.”

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By: Anna Matherne

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