Gevo Inc (NASDAQ:GEVO) is applauding the White House for coordinating several federal agencies to meet the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge -- which calls for a 50% reduction in the aviation carbon footprint over the next 30 years.
Recently, the departments of energy (DOE), transportation (DOT), and agriculture (USDA) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining the Grand Challenge.
The challenge spells out action steps to reduce the cost, enhance the sustainability, and expand the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) that achieves a minimum of a 50% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) compared to conventional fuel to reach a goal of supplying sufficient SAF to meet 100% of aviation fuel demand by 2050.
READ: Gevo and Chevron unit sign letter of intent to jointly invest in new facilities to turn inedible corn into sustainable aviation fuel
DOE Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm, DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, along with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and the Department of Defense represented by Secretary Frank Kendall III of the Air Force, all participated in the roundtable to discuss the details of the Grand Challenge.
The MOU states that “increased production of SAF will play a critical role in a broader set of actions by the United States Government and the private sector to reduce the aviation sector's emissions in a manner consistent with the goal of netzero emissions for our economy, and to put the aviation sector on a pathway to full decarbonization by 2050. In recognition of the critical role that drop-in synthesized hydrocarbon fuels from waste streams, renewable energy sources, or gaseous carbon oxides—or SAF—will play in addressing our climate change crisis and its role for jobs and the economy, the Parties undertake this MOU to ensure the highest level of collaboration and coordination across our Agencies.”
Gevo said CEO Patrick Gruber shared his thoughts at the virtual White House Roundtable to discuss the future of SAF, along with other industry leaders. As a near-term goal, government and aviation stakeholders pledged to try to achieve 3 billion gallons of SAF production and reduce aviation-related emissions by 20% by 2030.
“This is an exciting time for our industry,” said Gruber in a statement. “We are both honored and thankful to have been included to this collaborative event. Through Gevo’s current off-take agreements with Delta Airlines, Trafigura, Haltermann Carless, Air Total, and SAS, as well as the proposed collaboration with Chevron, we are ready to take on the Grand Challenge, and are already approaching a potential combined off-take of 250 million gallons per year of advanced hydrocarbon products, which include SAF.”
According to the MOU: “The activities underlying this MOU represent an investment in America that not only reduces our environmental impact, but also supports energy independence and creates jobs in agriculture, forestry, infrastructure, research and development and other areas where America already excels at production. This MOU also supports a just transition of the energy industry to a low carbon future. Environmental responsibility, equity and economic sensibility go hand in hand with this effort.”
Gruber added: “The Grand Challenge is a roadmap to a future that allows transportation growth to continue while flattening related carbon emissions. It’s only through this type of cross-discipline effort that the effects are multiplied. Our Net-Zero 1 Project is expected to be the first of its kind to be convert renewable energy into SAF and other energy-dense, liquid hydrocarbons and we don’t expect to stop there. Our vision is to reach a billion gallons by 2030, which will require additional facilities with the potential to achieve net-zero GHG emissions across the lifecycle of the fuel.”
For agricultural-based feedstocks, Gevo said it believes in working with farmers as partners to encourage sustainable farming and regenerative agriculture. In addition to Gevo’s approach to utilizing sustainable field corn as a feedstock for producing SAF and renewable gasoline, the company also believes in the technology to utilize cellulosic feedstock, such as wood residues.
Gevo also said that the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory model utilizes the most up-to-date, scientific carbon accounting. Argonne GREET is the premier science-based life cycle inventory model for determining GHGs and other sustainability attributes across the life cycle of a fuel.
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