Alaska Airlines to make history with flight powered by wood

Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Alaska Airlines will make history Monday flying the first commercial flight using the world's first renewable, alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals --the limbs and branches that remain after managed forests are harvested.

The forest residuals used to power Alaska Airlines Flight 4 was sourced from tribal lands and private forestry operations in the Pacific Northwest and was produced through the efforts of the Washington State University-led Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, the airline said.

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The NARA initiative is funded by a five-year, $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Believed to be the world's first alternative jet fuel produced from wood, the blended fuel meets international standards, allowing it to be used safely for Monday's commercial flight.

The flight will depart from Sea-Tac Airport at 8:20 a.m. and will land at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. and will be met by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at 4:10 p.m.

In June, the airline operated the first commercial flights using a 20 percent blend of renewable alcohol-to-jet biofuel produced by a renewable chemical and biofuel company.