Rentech Inc, a renewable energy and synthetic fuel manufacturer, has announced a partnership with eight U.S. airlines to use up to 1.5 million gallons a year of synthetic diesel fuel made from plant waste starting in 2012.
The feed stock will come mostly from “woody green waste” such as yard clippings and other urban wood scrap. The fuel will power ground-service vehicles and equipment at Los Angeles International Airport.
On board for the deal is American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and UPS Airlines.
Glenn Tilton, the chairman of the Air Transport Association of America, who joined Rentech in the announcement, hailed the purchase agreement as the “first of its kind” and a significant start for more to come within the industry. “”This transaction promises to be the first of many such green-fuel purchase agreements by the commercial aviation industry,” said Tliton.
The fuel will be produced at a new plant in Rialto, California, scheduled for completion in 2012.
Rentech’s CEO and president D. Hunt Ramsbottom added his own vision for things to come, including the use of synthetic fuels in jet aircraft: “We expect this agreement to serve as a model for future supply relationships at other airports and for other fuels, including Rentech’s synthetic jet fuel, which was recently approved for commercial airline use,” he said.