ICM: Flight powered by biofuel made from residual wood

By ICM Inc. | November 15, 2016

ICM Inc. is proud to have contributed to the successful production of renewable biojet fuel from woody biomass used on a commercial Alaska Airlines flight Nov. 14 as part of the USDA-sponsored Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance project. Renewable biojet fuel represents another product that is reducing the carbon footprint of transportation fuels in the United States and around the world.

Pretreated hemlock and lodgepole pine were milled, enzymatically hydrolyzed to sugars and then fermented to isobutanol in ICM’s integrated biorefinery pilot plant located in St. Joseph, Missouri.  The process employed Gevo’s proprietary fermentation microorganism and GIFT process located in ICM’s pilot plant.  The isobutanol was recovered by distillation and then transported to Silsbee, Texas, for the final conversion to biojet fuel.  ICM has worked with Gevo thoughout its commercial development to further the commercialization of the conversion of renewable resources to isobutanol.

ICM Vice-President of Technology Development Steve Hartig said, “ICM’s pilot plant provides customers like GEVO with access to high quality pilot plant equipment and people, in order to enable efficient process development and production campaigns. This project has been a tremendous success and required a mix of mechanical, chemical and biological skills which ICM’s team was able to bring.”

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

As a leading biofuels process technology provider, ICM is focused on delivering innovative technologies, solutions, and services to sustain agriculture and advance renewable energy throughout the world.  Our versatile ICM fermentation and bioprocess pilot plant provides customers with a wide range of biotechnology process development options and services.