Seattle Times: Biofuel from logging scraps powers Alaska Airlines jet on cross-country flight

From the Seattle Times:

An Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C., on Monday morning was powered with a jet-fuel blend containing 20 percent renewable biofuel made from Pacific Northwest forest residuals — the limbs and branches that remain after the harvesting of managed forests.

Billed as the first commercial flight running partly on wood, the alternative jet fuel was produced through the research efforts of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA). Led by Washington State University, the group aims to build a sustainable supply chain for aviation biofuel using the leavings from logging operations.

Biofuels company Gevo used patented technologies to convert cellulosic sugars derived from wood waste into renewable isobutanol at a fermentation facility in St. Joseph, Mo., then further converted that at its biorefinery in Silsbee, Texas.

Among the passengers on Monday’s flight was Leah Grace, deputy press secretary for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

“As a passenger on this flight, I can confirm it was very pleasant, but unfortunately did not smell like Christmas trees,” Grace tweeted after landing.