Delta signs sustainable fuel agreeement

US airline Delta has signed a long-term offtake agreement with renewable fuel producer Gevo for the purchase of 10 million gallons per year of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Etihad 777 flight

SAF provides significant environmental benefits, as the lifecycle carbon footprint of the fuel can be up to 75% lower than conventional jet fuel.

The agreement complements the airline’s recent $2 million (€1.79 million) investment in Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels for a feasibility study of a facility to produce SAF and other biofuel products in the US state of Washington.

Delta’s investment in sustainable fuel is just one element of its commitment to carbon neutral growth and the reduction of emissions by 50% by 2050.

“Long-term investments such as our agreement with Gevo are critical to Delta’s goal to lower our carbon footprint while planning for a more sustainable future,” said Graeme Burnett, senior vice-president of fuel management at Delta Air Lines. “Fuel is an airline’s biggest area of impact and therefore presents our greatest opportunity to drive solutions that care for the planet.”

“We have such great potential in our business system to break paradigms as to what is possible,” added Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “We are working to create a business system that works hand-in-hand with agriculture to improve sustainability and lower the carbon emissions of jet fuel while producing protein for food chain use.

“Not only does our system produce enormous quantities of protein, we are working to get off the grid by installing wind power for electricity and manure digesters to produce biogas. We want our Luverne Facility to embody the ‘circular economy’.”

The SAF is expected to be produced following completion of an expansion to Gevo’s advanced biofuel production facility in Luverne, Minnesota, and is anticipated to be available to Delta between 2022 and 2023.

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