Delta - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  December 19, 2019

Delta to buy 10M gallons of sustainable jet fuel annually

Delta Air Lines will begin to purchase 10 million gallons per year of advanced renewable biofuels created from inedible, industrial corn products, creating a carbon footprint up to 75% less than with conventional jet fuel.

Delta signed an agreement Dec. 17 with Gevo, a producer of low-carbon gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel.

The airline previously committed to carbon-neutral growth and reducing its emissions by 50% by 2050. Additionally, Delta recently invested $2 million in Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels, LLC to support the production of sustainable aviation fuel.

“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,” Graeme Burnett, Senior Vice President of fuel management at Delta Air Lines, said in a statement. “Fuel is an airline’s biggest area of impact and therefore presents our greatest opportunity to drive solutions that care for the planet.”

The no. 2 corn used in the production goes through a unique process where the sugar is separated from the protein and used to make the jet fuel, while the proteins are fed to livestock. The manure from the livestock is then used in biogas digestors as an alternative to fossil-based natural gas and the solids are used as fertilizer for the cornfields, creating a continuous manufacturing cycle.

Delta is expected to begin receiving the biofuel between 2022 and 2023.

Keywords: Delta, Gevo

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