Boeing says it will begin offering airlines and operators the chance to have their jets powered by biofuel when they take off for their new homes, and Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is the first to sign up for the option.
For years, the Port of Seattle has been talking about weaning Seattle-Tacoma International Airport off fossil fuels, but now it’s getting serious about taking action.
“At a certain point in time, you just have to say, ‘Well, let’s make a run for it,’ ” Port Commissioner Fred Felleman told GeekWire. “It can’t be just an intellectual pursuit.”
But it’s not totally up to the port: A new network of interlocking infrastructures will have to be created, connecting farmers with refiners, distributors and users.
That’s the motivation behind the Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit, set to take place on March 7-8 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle. The event, hosted by Earth Day Northwest 2020, is meant to bring together stakeholders who can get Sea-Tac closer to its goal of having at least 10 percent of its fuel come from sustainable sources by 2028.
A NASA-led study demonstrates that airplanes powered by biofuels can emit up to 70 percent less particulate pollution – providing a potential boost for technologies that are being pioneered at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Alaska Airlines says it sent a Boeing 737 jet on the first commercial airline flight that was partially fueled by branches, stumps and other leftovers from forests in the Pacific Northwest.
The jet took off this morning from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and headed for Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., with its tanks full of a new type of biofuel blend.
Twenty percent of the jet fuel came from wood waste that was collected during timber harvests or thinning operations on land owned by Weyerhaeuser in Oregon, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe in Washington and the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes in Montana, plus rejected wood fibers from Cosmo Specialty Fibers in Cosmopolis, Wash.
In a typical timber harvest, some of the leftover limbs, branches and stumps are left behind to replenish the land and provide cover. The rest is typically pushed into a pile and burned.
Those practices provided an opportunity for the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, a public-private consortium led by Washington State University. Researchers took advantage of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to demonstrate a technology that converts the excess waste wood into isobutanol.