FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2018, file photo, a worker fuels a Delta Connection regional airlines passenger jet at Logan International Airport in Boston. Delta Air Lines Inc. reports financial results Wednesday, April 10, 2019.(AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)

Photo: Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Photo: Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Delta investing $2 million to study use of forest floor debris for biofuel

Delta Air Lines says it is investing $2 million for a feasibility study of a biofuel production facility that would use wood residue lying on forest floors to make the biofuel.

Atlanta-based Delta said it is partnering with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels LLC for the project. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by mid-2020, then Delta would consider whether to move forward with the next steps in the project.

The project would use wood residue deposits and wood slash found on forest floors to make biofuel that would be produced in a facility in the state of Washington by the end of 2023.

Such jet fuel could be used for Delta flights at airports in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, amounting to about 10 percent of Delta’s jet fuel consumption on the West Coast, according to the airline.

"This project has additional environmental benefits because it reduces wood residuals in forests, which can increase potential fire hazards and inhibit future tree growth,” said Delta senior vice president of fuel management Graeme Burnett in a written statement.

Delta has set a goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance co-director Michael Wolcott said in a written statement that research shows using forest harvest residuals to produce aviation fuel reduces aircraft emissions and “provides for much needed jobs in the rural and timber-dependent regions of the Pacific Northwest.”

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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