Gulfstream flies in on advanced biofuels to make a green entrance at major aviation show
Gulfstream G450 refuelled with Green Jet biofuel prior to transatlantic flight in 2011
Fri 2 Nov 2012 – Gulfstream’s full fleet of demonstration business jet aircraft were flown earlier this week from their Savannah, Georgia base to the NBAA convention in Orlando, Florida on blended biofuel supplied by Honeywell’s UOP. The five aircraft used Honeywell Green Jet Fuel sourced from oils from camelina, an inedible plant grown in the US northwest where it is rotated with wheat. It was blended 50/50 with conventional fuel and produced using Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process. Based on life-cycle analysis studies, Honeywell claims its camelina-based fuel burns 68 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than petroleum-based jet fuel. Depending on the feedstock, the fuel can offer between a 65 and 85 per cent reduction in GHG emissions. Gulfstream says the use of biofuels is part of a multipronged approach it is taking towards sustainability and improving aircraft efficiencies.
“A little over a year ago, a G450 became the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic on biofuels when Honeywell flew from Morristown, New Jersey to Paris for the Paris Air Show,” commented Gulfstream’s SVP Sales and Marketing, Scott Neal. “Now, we’re the first original equipment manufacturer to have its full fleet fly to a trade show on advanced biofuels.
“We continue to invest in research that will ensure our aircraft are fuel-efficient and quiet to lessen their environmental impact.”
Gulfstream’s sustainability efforts also extend to green buildings and manufacturing practices, including ensuring all new company buildings are LEED-certified. It has a dedicated sustainability group committed to reducing industrial emissions, conserving energy and recycling consumables. Single-stream recycling takes place at all of its facilities, with employees having diverted 1.2 million pounds (544 tonnes) of recyclables, reports the company.
Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process technology was originally developed in 2007 under a contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable military-grade jet fuel for the US military. The company says its process is fully compatible with existing hydroprocessing technology commonly used in today’s refineries to produce transportation fuels.
In other related news, UOP’s Sales Account Manager, Jim Woodger, has left to join biofuel technology company Solazyme as its Associate Director, Upstream Business Development. Earlier this week, Solazyme was ranked first in the Biofuels Digest annual “50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy” ratings. Other companies in the top rankings that are working on alternative jet fuel development include LanzaTech (3rd), Gevo, Sapphire Energy, Honeywell’s UOP, Amyris and Virent.