jet fueling - photo by CAAFISeven of the leading U.S. airlines announced this week they’ve signed up to purchase jet fuel made from recycled urban and agricultural waste to be produced in northern California. Providing the fuel will be Solena Fuels and its biomass-to-liquids facility in Santa Clara County.

American Airlines led the way with its embrace of the groundbreaking alternative aviation fuels project. United Continental, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, FedEx, JetBlue, and US Airways also signed the letter of intent. Air Canada, Frontier Airlines and Lufthansa German Airlines also joined the big seven.

Solena will produce up to 16 million gallons of jet fuel (as well as 14 million gallon equivalents of other energy products) per year by 2015 to support airline operations at Oakland (OAK), San Francisco (SFO) and/or San Jose (SJC). The project will divert approximately 550,000 metric tons of waste that otherwise would go to a landfill while producing jet fuel with lower emissions of greenhouse gases and local pollutants than petroleum-based fuels.

“Today’s announcement reinforces the ongoing steps that airlines are taking to contribute to the creation of green jobs, and promote energy security through economically viable alternatives that also demonstrate global and local environmental benefits,” said the President and CEO of the Air Transport Association of America.

They are all members of CAAFI, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, which is dedicated to the development and deployment of commercially viable, environmentally friendly alternative aviation fuels.

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