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Biofuels from Algae ASTM Approved for Passenger Airlines

June 10, 2011
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

According to Bloomberg News, airlines have won the backing of the U.S.-based ASTM technical-standards group to power their planes with a blend of traditional fuel and biofuel from inedible plants.

Fuel processed from organic waste or non-food materials, such as algae or wood chips, may now comprise as much as 50 percent of the total fuel burned to power passenger flights, Air Transportation Association (ATA) spokesman Steve Lott and a Boeing Co. (BA) official told Bloomberg.

“The real winners of this type of regulatory breakthrough will be technology companies involved in the production of aviation biofuels,” said Harry Boyle, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London. “The biotech-biofuels business models of Amyris Inc. (AMRS), Codexis Inc. (CDXS), Gevo Inc. and Solazyme Inc. are all making claims to these types of new markets.”

Other biofuels companies that may benefit from opening up the $139 billion-a-year aviation fuel market are Neste Oil Oyj (NES1V) of Finland, Spain’s Abengoa SA and Honeywell International Inc. (HON)’s UOP unit, which is developing a fuel-making technology.

Airlines will be able to begin using bio-derived fuel after final approval is delivered in July. GE, the biggest jet engine maker, says a 50 per cent blend will not have an impact on engines.
 Apart from algae, bio-fuels are expected to be processed from inedible plants such as jatropha and pongamia to make renewable jet fuel.

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