Enviva, Alder partner to turn wood biomass into SAF

American biomass company Enviva announced that it’s partnering with Alder Fuels in a move to make aviation biofuel, Reuters reported. Contributing to airlines’ goals of cutting carbon emissions, Enviva and Alder Fuels will use wood biomass to make aviation biofuel.

The collaboration between the companies is expected to kick off in 2024, with Enviva providing Alder with 750,000 tons of wood biomass, all of which the company claims will be from “sustainably sourced forest byproducts like treetops and tree limbs.”

According to Alder’s CEO and president Bryan Sherbacow, the joint collaboration could result in 37 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) per year, making it the biggest agreement in the U.S. of its kind.

The major challenge with SAF, according to Sherbacow, has been scalability. However, Alder will offer less expensive fuel that can also use sources like sugarcane waste and regenerative grasses.

The majority of the byproducts from the timber harvest, according to Enviva President Thomas Meth, could be used to supply SAF manufacturing plants. He says a downturn in the North American paper sector during the digital era has made some of that woody biomass output available for use in the production of fuel.

Per Reuters, “the White House wants to cut aviation’s carbon emissions by 20% by 2030, with a goal of boosting SAF production to 3 billion gallons per year by 2030, and to meet 100% of aviation fuel demand of about 35 billion gallons a year by 2050. The climate law President Joe Biden signed last month boosted tax credits for making SAF, but more incentives will be needed to meet those goals.”

As Bio.News has reported, several major airlines – including Aer Lingus and American Airlines – recently announced deals to source more SAF, in partnerships with Gevo, a member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Meanwhile, Microsoft is investing $50 million in plant that turns alcohol into sustainable jet fuel, developed by another BIO member, LanzaJet.

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