Alaska Airlines has made a similar sustainable biofuel deal with Hawai'i BioEnergy, which won't be realized until at least 2018. Hawai'i BioEnergy expects to begin producing the fuel for Alaska Airlines within five years after receiving regulatory approval. The partners expect the feedstock to be woody biomass. It will meet the sustainability criteria established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.
Engine maker GE Aviation has been conducting extensive studies of biofuels for several years on many of its aircraft engines. At its main Peebles Test Operation in Ohio and other test sites, GE Aviation's jet engines consume 10 million gallons of fuel each year. In 2016, the manufacturer plans to begin buying 500,000 gallons each year of cellulosic jet biofuel for those test operations from The D'Arcinoff Group. It will continue to purchase the biofuel for the following 10 years, with an option of increasing amounts to 10 million gallons per year. Cost will be comparable to the cost of fossil jet fuel.
A French partnership that expects to help foster a local biofuel industry is the Biofuel Initiative France. Consisting of Airbus, Air France, engine maker Safran, and biofuel maker Total, the team conducted a demonstration flight at the 2013 Paris Air Show. The flight between Toulouse and Le Bourget was made by an Airbus A321, powered by CFM56 engines using Biojet A-1 Total/Amyris. This biofuel is made with a novel sugar-processing technology. The effort supports European Commission’s initiative that hopes to see 2 million tons of sustainable jet biofuel produced in Europe by 2020.
Benchmarks for specific improvements in technology and processing, as well as supply chain changes, that would make some biofuels' prices competitive with petro-based jet fuels come from a three-year study led by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia. The team evaluated the feasibility of three aviation biofuels from the standpoints of engineering and economics. The study compared three feedstocks: sucrose from sugar cane, microalgae, and oily seeds from the Pongamia tree. It analyzed the processes needed to convert them to fuel using techno-economic modeling, which looks at how technologies can achieve prices that meet market requirements.