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Delta Looks to Turn Forest Debris Into Fuel for Its Airplanes

Jacquelyn Melinek

(Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines is funding a study to see if twigs, branches and other wood debris can create jet fuel to help fly its West Coast planes.

The airline invested $2 million to partner with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels LLC to study the feasibility of a bio-fuel production facility in Washington that could create fuel out of forest debris, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Delta is about one-fifth of the way toward its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 50% by 2050, according to the statement.

“This single project could provide approximately 10% of Delta’s annual jet fuel consumption in the West Coast region and, if successful, could become the blueprint for future projects,” said Graeme Burnett, Delta’s Senior Vice President - Fuel Management.

The sustainable jet fuel could be used in Delta’s operations in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Delta expects the study to be complete by mid-2020 and evaluate further steps with the project’s development. Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels plans first delivery of the fuel by the end of 2023.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacquelyn Melinek in New York at jmelinek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net, Christine Buurma

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