Aviation Industry Biofuel Demand Provides Significant Biomass Project Opportunities

Aviation Industry Biofuel Demand Provides Significant Biomass Project Opportunities

As billions of gallons of biofuel are still needed to meet the demand of airline companies, a variety of technologies can contribute sustainable project solutions to supply much-needed fuel.

Global climate challenges and treaties are contributing to shifting operating practices of well-established industries. The aviation sector is increasingly turning towards biofuels to reduce its carbon footprint and become more cost-competitive. Team Gemini contributes working solutions towards these goals with a variety of technologies.

In order to aid in a shift towards utilizing more sustainable fuels, biomass processing is at the heart of generating resources. It is one of the primary technology pillars in Team Gemini’s portfolio of developments because suitable waste is relatively abundant—having those waste resources relegated to causing environmental problems misses significant opportunities in improving operating costs, creating high-value byproducts, and maintaining advantages of sustainability.

The biofuel industry currently has enough factories to produce as much as 100 million gallons (378 million liters) of jet fuel annually, said Claire Curry, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That barely registers next to the more than 83 billion gallons airlines consume each year.

Advocates for renewable jet fuel say the industry will develop after the UN accord takes effect and drives up demand, just as ethanol production boomed in the U.S. after lawmakers passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005.

The aviation industry supports the pending UN accord and has set ambitious environmental goals of its own. Those include improving average fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent a year through 2020 and reducing emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050. Jet fuel is among airlines’ biggest expenses, and squeezing every last mile from a gallon is crucial to the bottom line.

Airlines began testing biofuels in 2008 and have since used them on more than 1,500 passenger flights. JetBlue agreed in September to buy more than 33 million gallons of blended fuel annually, using renewable fuel from S.G. Preston Co. In March, United Continental announced a three-year deal to buy 15 million gallons of biofuel from AltAir Paramount for flights out of Los Angeles.

Not all biofuel-generating projects are necessarily 100% sustainable—a variety of factors contribute to this bottom line, including sources of biomass, energy required for the process, and more. Team Gemini aims to maximize sustainable production with each project.

And with such significant demand and insufficient supply, both small- and large-scale project opportunities are available. To engage in these opportunities, Team Gemini offers a suite of products related to industry-leading UDR anaerobic digestion plants, including the small-scale MonoTube. Team Gemini treats biomass as a combined effort between waste processing (strictly organic and non-organic waste, cellulosic waste, and contaminated organic waste) and resource generation.

With team members providing innovative Bio-Ethanol plants, Feedstock Pre-Treatment and Digestate-effluent Post-Treatment technologies, UDR Anaerobic Digesters, highly efficient CHP units, and Wastewater Treatment plants, Team Gemini offers a complete solution set for a variety of commodity-intensive industries. Design and development are integral in establishing economic viability, as various cost factors, technology configurations and applications, and other details vary from project to project. Team Gemini is part of this process, and making sure that all requirements are met and implemented for clients to most effectively apply sustainability measures in their operations.

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