Alaska Airlines has teamed up with Washington State University’s Northwest Advanced Renewable Alliance (NARA) to advance development on renewable jet fuel made from forest residues. As a result of the collaboration, Alaska Airlines plans on taking the aviation biofuels to the sky during a demonstration flight next year.
NARA is focusing on developing alternative jet fuel derived from post-harvest forest residuals, which are often burned after the timber harvest. By using these waste materials as the feedstock of a biojet fuel supply chain, NARA and its aviation industry partners, are looking to reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions as well as bolster sustainable economic-development potential in timber-based rural communities located throughout the Pacific Northwest.
“Alaska Airlines is thrilled to partner with NARA to help further promote sustainable aviation biofuels,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines senior vice president of external relations. “Sustainable biofuels are a key to aviation’s future and critical in helping the industry and Alaska Airlines reduce its carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels.”
NARA is a five-year project supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and is comprised of 22 member organizations from industry, academia and government laboratories.
“Developing alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals represents a significant economic challenge with considerable sustainability benefits,” added Michael Wolcott, NARA co-director. “While the price of oil fluctuates, the carbon footprint of fossil fuels remains constant. NARA efforts to engage stakeholders from forest managers to potential fuel users like Alaska Airlines to lay the foundations for a bio-based, renewable fuel economy is exciting work that we believe will benefit society in the years ahead.”