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ATLANTA: September 17, 2019. Delta Air Lines is to invest US$2 million and partner with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels (NWABF) to study the feasibility of producing sustainable aviation fuel derived from forest floor wood debris.

NWABF's project would use wood residue deposits and wood ‘slash’ lying on forest floors to produce the biofuel, recognized by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), for first delivery by the end of 2023.

Delta A350"This single project could provide approximately 10 percent of Delta's annual jet fuel consumption in the West Coast region and, if successful, could become the blueprint for future projects to support Delta's goal to further reduce its carbon footprint," said Graeme Burnett, Delta's Senior vice president — Fuel Management. "This project has additional environmental benefits because it reduces wood residuals in forests, which can increase potential fire hazards and inhibit future tree growth."

The sustainable aviation fuel, produced in a facility in Washington State, Delta says could be used in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

"While Delta continues to take actions toward our long-term goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050, fuel is a key area where we are examining opportunities to create real sustainability differences and drive accountability across the entire business as we lower our environmental impact," explained Alison Lathrop, Delta's managing director — Global Environment, Sustainability and Compliance.

Delta expects the feasibility study to be complete by the middle of 2020.

NWABF is a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Advanced Bio-Fuels that is developing second generation, commercial scale, cellulosic renewable bio jet fuel refineries with the first project being developed in the Pacific Northwest. 

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