Biofuels For Aviation In Midwest

CHICAGO, ILL. – The commercial aviation industry has a clear path toward cleaner, more economical and more secure energy alternatives through the increased use of advanced biofuels developed in the Midwest, according to a report issued by the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI). MASBI is a coalition led by United Airlines, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust, along with an advisory council of more than 40 public and private organizations, chaired by Argonne National Laboratory.

In addition to endorsing the report’s recommendations, several individual MASBI members made new commitments to help secure a robust future for biofuels.

Noting the progress made in developing biofuels, including its use on more than 1,500 commercial aviation flights globally, the coalition agreed that more must be done to achieve the

sustainable production of commercial-scale and cost-competitive advanced biofuels from sources such as non-food crops and waste products.

MASBI recommendations include:

1. Streamline the approval process for new biofuel production methods;
2. Level the policy playing field for advanced biofuels with the conventional petroleum industry;
3. Tailor agriculture products such as oil-seed crops for jet-fuel production;
4. Improve biofuel production through agricultural innovation; and
5. Pursue deal structures that balance risk and reward for early adopters of technology.

Expanding the availability of sustainable aviation biofuels will have clear business benefits for the airline industry and the broader Midwest economy besides the obvious benefits for the environment. From 1990 to 2012, fuel costs increased by 574 percent and are now the single largest expense for commercial aviation, accounting for up to 40 percent of an airline’s operating budget. Commercial aviation spends $6.3 billion on jet fuel a year for flights originating in the Midwest, alone. MASBI estimates that replacing five percent of petroleum jet fuel in the Midwest with aviation biofuel would create more than 3,600 jobs and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 700,000 tons. The Midwest can be a leader in this effort because it boasts the experience, technological innovation, and resources to do so. Visit to download the full report and executive summary.

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