9 Fly with Gevo’s Jet Fuel from O’Hare on “Fly Green Day”
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) In Illinois, today is Fly Green Day, sponsored by the O’Hare Fuel Committee, at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. 7 commercial airlines, plus Atlas Air and FedEx are flying out of O’Hare today on Gevo-based sustainable aviation fuel.
Among them: Lufthansa, United Airlines, Etihad, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Atlas Air — and the afore-mentioned FedEx.
As far as ‘Fly Green Day’ goes, Fans of the punk band Green Day are probably going to be wandering around the airport hoping to catch a glimpse of Billie Joe Armstrong —they’ll be disappointed in that, but there’s a special reason to like this day. It’s not just a PR stunt.
As we mentioned, it’s Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel, derived from renewable isobutanol, that’s being used today. But there’s more.
For today’s Fly Green Day, Air BP blended Gevo’s ATJ with regular fossil-based Jet A fuel, certified its quality and then supplied its customers through the airport’s main fuel hydrant system.
So, this event is the first time renewable jet fuel has been supplied at Chicago O’Hare using the existing airport fueling infrastructure, such as pipelines, terminals and tankage.
In some ways, it is reminiscent of the time that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus remarked to a large crowd of media and dignitaries, as the Navy’s first Green Strike Group left San Diego on patrol, that it was the most attention he had ever seen given to something completely normal.
Today, the new normal is supplying sustainable aviation fuels through the same-old, same-old system that conventional fuel uses. It’s remarkable — and in a few years, it will be not worth a mention. But making extraordinary into ordinary — that’s something that aviation has been doing since the Wright Brothers gave way to the likes of United and Lufthansa.
The Gevo aviation fuel backstory
We covered it from several angles of late.
Gevo, Lufthansa rock markets with renewable jet fuel deal
Gevo’s aviation fuel: The Multi-Slide Guide
Gevo announces strategic review, reduces staff at Luverne plant (Ethanol Producer Magazine)