One flight this week will be a Boeing 737 Alaska Airlines flight to Washington, DC, and the other is a Bombardier Q400 flight to Portland operated by sister carrier Horizon Air. Both flights were selected to demonstrate the use of biofuel on a transcontinental route, as well as a short route. This week’s flights will be the latest biofueled flights following Dynamic Fuels’ involvement in the world’s first commercial flights using biofuel conducted earlier this year by several European airlines. This week’s trips are the first of 75 regularly scheduled flights Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have scheduled in November using the biofuel blend.
The renewable jet fuel being used on the flights is made from used cooking oil. Dynamic Fuels representatives say the fuel is chemically identical to traditional jet fuel but offers the benefits of higher energy content; better cold-flow properties, enabling it to function effectively in cold weather; and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
“The next generation of high-performance biofuel technology is here and we’re hopeful others will join the efforts of Alaska Airlines and other airlines to generate more public support for biofuel production,” said Bob Ames, vice president of Renewable Energy for Tyson Foods and a member of the Dynamic Fuels management team.
In June, KLM became the first airline in the world to operate a commercial flight on biofuel, using 50/50 blend of conventional jet fuel and renewable jet fuel produced by Dynamic Fuels. The airline scheduled more than 200 similar commercial flights between Amsterdam and Paris in September 2011. Finnair and Thomson Airways also initiated commercial flights using renewable jet fuel produced by Dynamic Fuels. Finnair’s first flight was in July and Thomson’s was in October.
Dynamic Fuels’ Geismar plant converts non-food feedstocks, such as animal fats, greases and used cooking oils, into renewable fuels. With the capacity to produce up to 75 million gallons of fuel per year, the facility currently employs 75 people and generates an annual payroll of more than $6 million.
Syntroleum Corporation owns the Syntroleum Process for Fischer-Tropsch (FT) conversion of synthesis gas derived from biomass, coal, natural gas and other carbon-based feedstocks into liquid hydrocarbons. The Synfining process upgrades FT liquid hydrocarbons into middle-distillate products, such as synthetic diesel and jet fuels. Bio-Synfining technology converts animal fat and vegetable oil feedstocks into middle-distillate products, such as renewable diesel and jet fuel using inedible fats and greases as feedstock.
Dynamic Fuels was formed to construct and operate multiple renewable synthetic fuels facilities, with production on the first site beginning in 2010.