SAFs get significant kick from Gevo’s new sales deals

Gevo gave a significant push to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on Wednesday, announcing its partnership with Alaska Airlines to supply 185 million gallons of SAF over five years, Good Day BIO reports.

In support of “Gevo’s pursuit of its stated goal of producing and commercializing a billion gallons of SAF by 2030,” as the Colorado-based biofuels company described it, it will supply Alaska Airlines 37 million gallons a year starting in 2026.

The agreement, as Good Day BIO notes, “is part of a plan for the 14 airlines in the oneworld global alliance to purchase up to 200 million gallons a year of SAF from Gevo’s future commercial production operations.”

“Alaska was the first airline to fly on a Gevo experimental fuel that we made from the cellulosic fiber of wood waste, providing a pathway and proof that waste woods can be used to make sustainable aviation fuel,” Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber said. The company continues to grow its partnerships with oneworld airlines.

Gevo previously partnered with Alaska Airlines in 2016 “to demonstrate the use of the first cellulosic renewable jet fuel specified for use on a commercial airline flight, produced from the sugars of wood waste.”

Back in March, Gevo announced a $2.8 billion deal to sell 75 million gallons a year to Delta. Gevo signed similar deals with oneworld members Aer Lingus and American Airlines. The American Airlines deal is “worth an estimated $2.75 billion”

SAFs advance dream of zero-carbon aviation

Producing significantly lower carbon emissions than traditional jet fuel, SAFs are “an important part of the aviation sector’s path to decarbonization,” as Gevo points out. This is especially true on longer-haul flights.

According to Gevo, its SAF turns biobased feedstocks like corn into sustainable “energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons” that work in traditional jet and vehicle engines as so-called drop-in fuel.”

As Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath has previously written, “Greener air travel is on the horizon. Biofuels will play an increasing role in powering it…. And will make the world less reliant on countries like Russia to meet energy needs.”

Gevo has committed to using renewable energy sources to achieve net-zero production and its partners are committed to helping it in the process.

“Using sustainable aviation fuel is a significant part of Alaska’s path to reach net zero carbon emissions, and we are excited about this agreement with Gevo,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability at Alaska Airlines.

The promotion of SAF development is also high on the agenda of the Biden administration, which, as we reported at the time, “has included tax credits for blenders of SAF” in the Made in America Tax Plan released in November last year.

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