July 6, 2022
Japan Airlines, Gevo Enter into a 5-year SAF Agreement
Airlines Innovation

Japan Airlines, Gevo Enter into a 5-year SAF Agreement

DALLAS – This week, Japan Airlines (JL) signed a new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) sales agreement with Gevo, Inc. whose mission is to transform renewable energy and carbon into energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons that can be used for drop-in transportation fuels.

The agreement lays out the terms for a five-year purchase of 5.3 million gallons of SAF, with delivery set to begin in 2027.

The JL-Gevo agreement is covered by a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by oneworld and Gevo in March 2022, which lays the groundwork for the Alliance’s associated world-class airlines to buy up to 200 million gallons of SAF from Gevo’s commercial operations.

The partnership with JL will help Gevo achieve its stated aim of generating and commercializing a billion gallons of sustainable fuel by 2030 by expanding its global footprint for its sustainable fuel products.

JA731J Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER. Photo: Tony Boerdelais/Airways

Gevo and Argonne GREET


Gevo measures greenhouse gas emissions using the Argonne GREET model developed by Argonne National Laboratory with support from the US Department of Energy.

Argonne GREET delivers a precise carbon lifecycle inventory and capitalizes on the decarbonizing effects of sustainable agriculture and fuel production techniques.

Gevo’s Net-Zero business systems are expected to achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions during the lifespan of each gallon of advanced renewable fuel generated, including its SAF, which includes emissions from burning the fuel in engines to power transportation.

More specifically, Gevo’s goal is to make energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons from renewable energy and carbon. These liquid hydrocarbons can be utilized to make drop-in transportation fuels like gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel that, when burned, can produce net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the product’s entire life cycle.

Japan Airlines JA602J Boeing 767-300(ER) (90 Years of Mickey Mouse Livery). Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways

Comments from Gevo CEO


“Our sustainable aviation fuel is a drop-in fuel that delivers renewable energy where it’s needed,” said Dr. Patrick R. Gruber, Gevo’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our process is a model of efficiency, designed to allow the same acre of farmland to produce SAF from corn using atmospheric carbon while simultaneously adding high-value nutritional products to the food chain.”

“JAL sees the value in reducing its dependence on fossil fuels while still being able to continue to use its existing aircraft,” says Gruber. “Our agreement will empower the company to achieve carbon-emissions reductions now as it explores other technologies to manage its energy transition.”

While the airline industry has worked to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the amount of fuel used, JAL and other oneworld members recognize that, in order to achieve further reductions in emissions in the future, they will need to change the fuels as well, and expect SAF to become widely used by 2030 and beyond.

The airline and oneworld are working toward a net-zero emission objective by 2050, with an interim aim of replacing 10% of conventional jet fuel with SAF by 2030, and Gevo is an important part of that effort.


Featured image: Japan Airlines JA654J Boeing 767-300(ER). Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways

Chief Online Editor
Chief Online Editor at Airways Magazine, AVSEC interpreter and visual artist; grammar geek, an avid fan of aviation, motorcycles, sci-fi literature, and film.

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