Directional Aviation and Alder Fuels Join Forces for First Business Aviation Offtake Partner Agreement for SAF 2.0
September 15, 2022
- Directional Aviation is investing in clean tech developer Alder Fuels to back the commercial scale-up of second-generation sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
- Private jet travel leader Flexjet, announces commitment to having 12 percent of its annual fuel consumption come from SAF by 2030
- Flexjet will become the first business aviation operator utilizing SAF refined from Alder Greencrude (AGC) and will also pilot transparency tool with Alder Fuels & 4AIR
- Aviation sustainability pioneer 4AIR will collaborate with Alder on the deployment of blockchain-powered transparency tools to track and trace the use of carbon emission-reducing SAF from supply chain to wingtip.
CLEVELAND and WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2022 – Today, private aviation investment firm Directional Aviation is making a financial investment in Alder Fuels, a clean tech developer and greencrude producer. As part of the agreement, the two companies will also pilot a pioneering blockchain-powered transparency tool to document the production life cycle and industry adoption of low-carbon SAF. The state-of-the-art tool will assist with transparency around the production of SAF and provide robust documentation for compliance with regulatory programs, environment, social and governance (ESG) targets, and carbon reduction milestones for the aviation sector.
Alder Fuels uses sustainable biomass, such as regenerative grasses, forest residues, and agricultural waste products, to create a low-carbon to carbon-negative greencrude that can be converted into SAF using existing bio and petroleum refinery infrastructure. In contrast to first generation SAF, which was primarily generated from non-scalable supplies of fats, oils, and grease, these biomass sources are abundantly available, and when repurposed, can contribute to soil regeneration and wildfire mitigation.
When calculating the fuel production carbon life cycle from field to wingtip across different biomass sources, AGC-derived SAF can achieve greenhouse gas reductions of over 80% compared to petroleum jet fuel. The process, which has been validated by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Laboratory (NREL), could even be carbon negative when utilizing regenerative crops. AGC-derived SAF will meet current aviation specifications and is currently in the process of global certification as a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel. As part of the agreement, Flexjet will become the first business aviation user of this SAF.
“Our investment in Alder Fuels and partnership on advancing the use of digital technology to document SAF use is an example of private aviation leading the way on sustainability commitments and identifying solutions to reduce carbon emissions that aid the entire aviation industry,” said Kenneth C. Ricci, Principal, Directional Aviation.
Alder Fuel’s acting chief executive officer, Tim Obitts, said the partnership will demonstrate how fuel is sourced, developed and deployed – from the sustainable biomass provider to the wingtip.
4AIR and Alder will align the use of blockchain technology tools to account for all the emission claims from the use of the SAF, generating the necessary records and transparency for compliance with regulatory frameworks, ESG standards, and other sustainability commitments. This application of digital technology for the aviation sector has enormous potential. Public blockchains represent a groundbreaking technological platform for documenting supply chains and recording physical asset ownership. They can also be deployed to help verify and validate the supply chain and emissions outputs of renewable fuels. For example, they can enhance the book-and-claim model of SAF use, a practice where a sustainability claim made by a company or customer is separated from the physical flow of these goods.
“Our goal at 4AIR is to make sustainability as simple and cost-effective as possible in order to promote its growth,” said Kennedy Ricci, 4AIR’s president. “The use of blockchain technology to transparently and permanently record the use of sustainable aviation fuel is an innovative application that will help users with regulatory and voluntary compliance and provide greater transparency about SAF’s benefits as a way to reduce climate-changing aircraft carbon emissions.”
Through this partnership between Directional and Alder Fuels, Flexjet will be the first business aviation offtake partner for AGC, advancing Flexjet towards its goal of having 12 percent of its annual fuel consumption come from SAF by 2030.
“Flexjet has achieved carbon-neutral flight operations for the past two years, purchasing credits to offset emissions from all flights booked by our aircraft Owners worldwide,” said Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro. “However, we have wanted to take the next step, not merely offsetting emissions but actually reducing them directly in our operations by taking tangible steps today. The use of SAF produced with Alder’s cutting edge greencrude will help us achieve this goal, maintaining our leadership on aviation sustainability, and the transparency tool developed by Alder Fuels and 4AIR will serve as a real-world proof of concept.”
Recognizing the scaling up of SAF is critical to meeting such aggressive climate goals, the White House launched the “SAF Grand Challenge,” with goals to have 3 billion gallons of SAF produced in the U.S. by 2030 and augmenting to 35 billion gallons by 2050. The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act into law amplifies the U.S. commitment to SAF by providing tax credits for every gallon produced that demonstrates a 50 percent or greater lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction relative to petroleum jet fuel.
About Directional Aviation
Directional Aviation is a private investment firm whose singular focus is private business aviation. Directional’s OneSky Flight portfolio of private jet travel providers includes shared/fractional jet ownership, jet card, membership, on-demand charter and vertical lift providers. Industry leaders representing MRO, private jet remanufacturing, aviation parts distribution and more also make up the Directional family. Directional Aviation is charting the course of private aviation, worldwide. For more information, visit www.directionalaviation.com.
About Alder Fuels
Alder Fuels is on a mission to replace fossil-based products and help rebalance our relationship with the natural world. Alder Fuels converts abundant and sustainable biomass into low-carbon to carbon-negative Alder Greencrude (AGC), which can be converted into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using existing global refinery equipment and infrastructure. Alder Fuels is backed by Honeywell UOP, United Ventures, Directional Aviation, Avfuel, Boeing and its technology has been validated by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). For more information, visit: http://www.alderfuels.com/
4AIR is an industry pioneer offering sustainability solutions beyond just simple carbon neutrality. Its industry-first framework seeks to address climate impacts of all types and provides a simplified and verifiable path for private aviation industry participants to achieve meaningful aircraft emissions counteraction and reduction. The 4AIR framework offers four levels, each with specific, science-based goals, independently verified results and progressively greater impacts on sustainability that make it easy for private aviation users to pursue sustainability through access to carbon markets, use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, support for new technologies and other strategies. For more information, visit us at www.4air.aero.
Flexjet first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 23 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, a 4AIR Bronze Sustainable Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. In 2015, Flexjet introduced Red Label by Flexjet, which features the most modern fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. There are more than 40 different interior designs across its fleet, including the Embraer Phenom 300 and Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350, the Gulfstream G450 and G650. Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Praetor 600 and the Gulfstream G650. Flexjet’s private helicopter division sells fractional, lease, and on-demand charter access to its fleet of owned and operated Sikorsky S-76 private helicopters serving locations throughout the Northeastern United States and Florida. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Twitter @Flexjet and on Instagram @FlexjetLLC.
For Directional Aviation, Flexjet and 4AIR:
Erin Daigle, The Hubbell Group, Inc.
For Alder Fuels:
Ian Plunkett, Alder Fuels