Van Nuys Airport (VNY), in South California, held its ‘Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Towards Sustainability’ event last week (17 January), with its first full-delivery of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF).
As leaders in advancing renewable jet fuel in the general aviation and business sector, Gevo and Avfuel work in partnership to grow the use of Gevo’s ATJ with a multi-year supply agreement. This would be the first time alternative fuel has been made available for retail sale to aircraft operators, in efforts to significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s manager of alternative fuels, said: “Sustainable alternative jet fuel is the future for aviation—both in the commercial landscape and for business aviation. Avfuel is committed to the industry’s initiative to meet carbon neutrality goals and has worked diligently in the supply of and logistics for the environmentally-friendly product.”
The purpose of the event was to demonstrate how renewable jet fuel, including Gevo’s ATJ, can become a mainstream, drop-in alternative for today’s general aviation aircraft. Traditional petroleum-based jet fuel, blended with Gevo’s ATJ, were provided by Avfuel for use at the airport during the event.
Avfuel blended the concentrated SAJF product with petroleum-based jet fuel, then tested the fuel for quality, ensuring ASTM D1655 standards. World Fuel Services provided 8,000 gallons of the renewable fuel produced by California-based World Energy for the event, and Gevo supplied 6,200 more gallons through Avfuel.
Charles Etter, head of environmental and regulatory affairs and technical fellow with Gulfstream, said: “This is drop-in fuel, it is jet-A, it just comes from a different source, you can mix it in the fuel tanks. It has better freeze point qualities to it, it has more energy density to it, it’s actually a better fuel.”
Product availability is the biggest challenge in bringing SAJF to market. Avfuel’s alternative fuels team are encouraging further production through formalized commitments with flight departments.
Avfuel entered into an agreement with Gevo, Inc.—a leading next generation biofuels company—in July 2018 to be its exclusive fuel supplier. The full load at the Van Nuys event is the first fruits of this partnership.