Record-setting aviation biofuel orders, new markets being opened for E15 — more and more, bioenergy is making headlines as the fuel that’s getting us from Point A to Point B. And, if you get there by boat, there’s good news for you, too: A new E10 study is helping put a decades-old debate to rest. Keep reading for the week’s biggest stories!


JetBlue makes record-setting renewable jet fuel order

JetBlue announced a 10-year, 330 million gallon renewable jet fuel purchase agreement with SG Preston. This marks one of the largest renewable jet fuel purchase agreements in aviation history, and the largest, long-term, binding commitment by any airline globally for hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) renewable jet fuel.


The fuel will consist of 30% renewable jet fuel blended with 70% traditional Jet-A fuel. The renewable jet fuel portion produced from select plant oils is targeted to achieve a 50% or higher reduction in greenhouse gases emissions per gallon based on a life-cycle analysis.


Get more details about the deal at Biofuels Digest.


Study: Gas becomes stale before water uptake becomes a concern

A new study by the Department of Energy (DOE) is providing insight into a decades-old debate about the impacts of ethanol-blended gasoline on water uptake and “phase separation” in small and off-road engines.


The study, conducted by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, found that the petroleum components of ethanol-blended gasoline become degraded and unfit for use in an engine long before the ethanol portion takes up enough water to cause phase separation in the fuel tank. “Phase separation” occurs when an excessive amount of water is introduced into the fuel tank leading the ethanol and water to mix and sink to the bottom of the tank.


In other words, gasoline becomes “stale” and unusable before water uptake by the ethanol component becomes a concern. Learn more about the study or even read the full report at Ethanol Producer Magazine.


Gov. Ricketts, USDA launch E15 in Omaha market

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse joined ethanol industry leaders to introduce E15, a fuel blend containing 15% ethanol, to the Omaha market. E15 is now available to passenger vehicles model year 2001 and newer exclusively at nine Omaha metro area Kum & Go stations.


As part of the rollout, the Kum & Go locations are selling E15 for just $1.15 per gallon — a price not seen as a weekly average since Feb. 11, 2002. For more information, including which stores are selling the fuel blend, visit the Omaha World-Herald.


USDA announces $7.4M in grants include several bioenergy projects

The USDA announced that $7.4 million in grants will be awarded to 76 small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to support research related to food security, natural resources and agricultural issues.


The program aims to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth research and development that has the potential for commercialization and could lead to significant public benefit.


Eight bioenergy-related projects were among those to receive funding, including one involving the production of enzymatic biodiesel and another aimed at producing drop-in diesel fuel oxygenate. Read the full story at Biomass Magazine.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Advisor at Novozymes
Geoff writes about Bioenergy for the Communications team at Novozymes. When he isn’t advocating for an industry that’s changing the world for the better, he can be found on a North Carolina bike path or playing slide guitar.