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Sea-Tac to Become One of the First Major US Airports to Use Biofuel for Their Flights

Sea-Tac Airport
Image Source: airbus777, CC BY 2.0

The Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington is becoming one of the first major airports in the US to start using biofuel for every flight.

This plan by the airport has engendered a study on how to construct the infrastructure that will be necessary to get aviation biofuel into its main fuel supply. The research team is led by David Williams from the engineering firm WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to look into the different sites that have access to the Olympic Pipeline. Also collaborating for the study are the Port of Seattle, Boeing, and Alaska Airlines.

Among the 29 potential sites, three have been found to be a perfect short-term solution to incorporate such an infrastructure at the airport’s existing fuel farm.

Sharing his opinion on this project, president of the Seattle Port Commission, John Creighton, said:

“Here in Seattle, we’re in such a unique position to lead in this industry. We live in a community that inspires us to think bigger about sustainability and in the Northwest, we understand that climate change is real.”

According to the study, using biofuel to a considerable extent will substantially reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, soot, sulfur, and other distinct particles from commercial aircraft. In fact, it is said to create a footprint of around 50% to 80% less than using regular jet fuel.

As the project is planned to be large-scale operation aiming to produce 50 million gallons of biofuel per year initially and then up to 100 million gallons by 2025, the research team believe that the infrastructure should be created at one of the three chosen northern refineries for a long-term solution. However, this would be more costly, requiring around $104 million in funding.

Aside from Sea-Tac, the Los Angeles International Airport is also in the works of using biofuel on a regular basis.

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