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Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative Launched in US

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United Airlines, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust have formed the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI), designed to advance aviation biofuel development in a 12-state region holding significant promise for biomass feedstock, technology development, job creation and sustainable commercialization.

MASBI’s Advisory Council will include national leaders in advanced biofuels, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Navy, other Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

“In just a few short years, aviation biofuels have developed from a hopeful vision of the future to an exciting reality of more than 1,500 passenger flights flown with advanced biofuels,” said Jimmy Samartzis, managing director of Global Environmental Affairs and Sustainability for United. “Our industry is committed to advancing sustainable biofuels, and United is proud to launch MASBI with our partners to define appropriate solutions to make alternative fuel available at commercial scale, unlock the Midwest’s economic potential for advanced biofuels and secure a sustainable future for aviation.”

With the Midwest’s strong agricultural, financial and academic institutions, and large aviation industry presence, MASBI Steering Committee members view the region as critical for biofuel development. Airlines operating in the Midwest transport more than 234 million passengers and consume nearly three billion gallons of jet fuel annually.

“Aviation’s ability to connect the world to people, goods and services through the heartland of the country contributes significantly to the nation’s economy and job growth,” said Billy Glover, vice president of Environment and Aviation Policy for Boeing. “Biofuels are a critical part of commercial aviation’s long-term fuel-diversification strategy, enabling sustainable growth and improving its overall environmental performance.”

Organization stakeholders are developing a feasibility study and an action plan to advance the biofuels industry in the Midwest.

“Initially, MASBI will evaluate Midwest feedstock options, commercialization requirements and opportunities, logistics and infrastructure needs, and regional policy measures,” said James Rekoske, vice president and general manager for Renewable Energy and Chemicals at Honeywell’s UOP. “After this actionable roadmap is developed, the goal is for MASBI participants across the biofuel value chain to execute recommendations that will enable the development and commercialization of aviation biofuels.”

Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management and strategy consulting, is providing program management for MASBI.

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