Jet Fuel From Wood

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

The dawn of the wood-burning aircraft may be near thanks to an agreement between a California biofuel company and the Province of Ontario, Canada. Rentech Inc. hopes to build a plant capable producing 23 million gallons of jet fuel per year in the small community of White River in northwestern Ontario. It will use 1.3 million tons of wood waste and tree species that are not otherwise used commercially in the Olympiad Project. Rentech won the wood supply in a competitive bidding process and will use the biomass to make Renjet, which it says is the only certified alternative jet fuel currently available. Although 23 million gallons sounds like a lot, the world's jets go through about 12.5 billion gallons of jet fuel each year.

In addition to the wood supply, Rentech has applied for up to $200 million in government loans to build the plant. The payoff for Ontario comes in the form of construction jobs and an ongoing prop to the local forest industry, which has fallen on hard times of late. Assuming everything falls into place, the plant could be in production in 2015.