Airlines won the backing of a U.S.- based technical-standards group to power their planes with a blend of traditional fuel and biofuel from inedible plants, the Air Transport Association said today.
Fuel processed from organic waste or non-food materials, such as algae or wood chips, may comprise as much as 50 percent of the total fuel burned to power passenger flights, 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.
Officials from Neste, Abengoa weren’t available for comment.
The decision to amend jet fuel specifications to include fuels from bio-derived sources “is a tremendous accomplishment for aviation and the result of tremendous collaboration across the entire industry,” Boeing Vice President of Environment and Aviation Policy Billy Glover told Bloomberg News in an e-mail.