Photo by Jose Lebron on Unsplash

As part of Delta Air Lines’ ongoing sustainability efforts, it has announced that it is investing $2 million to partner with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels for the feasibility study of a biofuel production facility in Washington. The facility would be used to produce sustainable aviation fuel and other biofuel products.

The study is expected to be complete by the mid-2020. Delta stated that, at that time, it will evaluate the next steps in moving forward with the project’s development.

“This single project could provide approximately 10 percent of Delta’s annual jet fuel consumption in the West Coast region and, if successful, could become the blueprint for future projects to support Delta’s goal to further reduce its carbon footprint,” said Graeme Burnett, Delta’s senior vice president of fuel management. “This project has additional environmental benefits because it reduces wood residuals in forests, which can increase potential fire hazards and inhibit future tree growth.”

The project would utilize wood residue deposits and wood slash lying on forest floors to produce the biofuel, which would qualify under an approved carbon-reducing pathway recognized by the American Society of Testing and Materials. First delivery of the fuel is expected by the end of 2023.

The sustainable aviation fuel, expected to be produced in a facility in Washington, could be used in Delta operations at stations in Sea-Tac, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.