US-headed biofuels- and biochemicals producer and process developer Gevo Inc., and oneworld Alliance, a network of world-class airlines, have announced that certain oneworld Alliance members plan to purchase up to 200 million (US) gallons (≈ 757 million litres) per year of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Gevo. The delivery of the SAF is expected to commence in 2027, for a five-year term.
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According to a statement, oneworld members Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways expect to utilize Gevo’s SAF for their operations in California (CA) including San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), and Los Angeles (LAX) International Airports.
As the aviation industry continues to face new challenges, today’s announcement underlines the positive outcome of the multilateral collaboration between industry stakeholders. It reaffirms the leadership of our alliance in supporting the ambitious aviation decarbonization targets, as well as our active role in driving the use of ICAO recognized SAF at a commercial scale, said HE Akbar Al Baker oneworld Chairman and Qatar Airways Group CEO.
One member has already executed a binding fuel sales agreement whereby Gevo expects to produce and sell 30 million (US) gallons (≈ 113.6 million litres) per year of SAF in support of the oneworld Alliance SAF Purchase Goal.
Based on current assumptions, including those around future pricing of commodities and the future values of certain environmental benefits, Gevo estimates that the fuel sales agreement should generate approximately US$800 million of revenue, inclusive of the value from environmental benefits, across the life of the contract.
Five months ago, we committed as an alliance to a target of 10 percent sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. Today’s announcement of a second major sustainable aviation fuel offtake among member airlines builds further upon that commitment while demonstrating the value that can be delivered when our member airlines work together, said Rob Gurney, CEO of oneworld Alliance.
Two ethanol-to-jet pathways
Gevo’s SAF is expected to be produced using field corn products that will then be processed to create ethanol that will then be converted into SAF. Gevo expects to produce the SAF at one or more facilities under development in the Midwest of the United States (US).
Gevo uses the Argonne GREET model, widely considered the gold standard of life cycle emissions modeling, as a central tenet of its sustainable business system. The model, developed and evolved by Argonne National Laboratory under the auspices of the US Department of Energy (DoE), sets forth a program to track the lifecycle assessment of carbon for fuels and other products.
Gevo’s business model has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero over the entire lifecycle of each gallon of advanced renewable fuel, like SAF, and that includes the emissions resulting from burning the fuel in engines to power transportation.
Gevo is focused on sustainability at every stage of production and has developed two alcohol-to-jet pathways that can utilize various feedstocks grown using renewable agricultural and sustainable farming techniques.
These feedstocks are then converted, in some cases, to high-value nutrition products and energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons, including SAF. Gevo’s production processes will incorporate renewable energy, including wind turbines, biogas, and combined heat and power systems (CHP) to increase efficiency and reduce carbon intensity to net-zero levels, which will then be passed on to the customer through the fuel.
This, Gevo says, is particularly helpful for customers, such as airlines, that seek to reduce their carbon intensity.
When oneworld member airlines show they understand the importance of reducing fossil-carbon greenhouse gas emissions, they start making real changes in the industry. Eliminating fossil-based emissions from the life-cycle of jet fuel is our mission. Net-Zero SAF is what we all want. I’m pleased that oneworld is on board, said Dr Patrick R. Gruber, CEO at Gevo.