Alaska Airlines Completes Its Initial Commercial Wood Biofuel Flight

On November 16th 2016, AviTrader wrote an article about how Alaska Airlines completed its first commercial wood biofuel flight which occur on November 14th 2016. This was considered Alaska Airlines Flight 4 using the Boeing 737-800 that is in its fleet. This Boeing 737-800 flew from Seattle to Tacoma International Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington DC with just 163 passengers aboard the airplane.

This is considered the first ever flight in which any airplane used alternative renewable energy jet fuel from forest residuals. In terms of the fuel, the fuel blend is around 20% sustainable aviation biofuel. This Aviation biofuel is chemically indistinguishable using regular jet A fuel. This jet A fuel has derivatives of different types of biofuel such as limbs, twigs, and braches which were used after harvesting forested that were usually burned. These forests were burn due to the timber harvest.

Here is what AviTrader has to say about biofuel.

“The biofuel was produced by the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) which is led by Washington State University, NARA being a five-year project which commenced in 2011 and which combines the resources of 32 member organizations from industry, academia and government laboratories. Sourced from tribal lands and private forestry operations in the Pacific Northwest, Geco, Inc, an NARA partner, succeeded in adapting its patent technologies to produce isobutanol from cellulosic sugars obtained from wood waste. Thereafter, the isobutanol was further converted into Gevo’s Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) fuel. This is believed to be the world’s first alternative jet fuel derived from wood, while the fuel meets international ASTM standards.”

There was over 1000 gallons of biofuel that was used during this flight and have very small impact on the carriers greenhouse gas emissions.

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