US Alternative Jet Fuel Deployment Scenario Analyses Identifying Key Drivers and Geospatial Patterns for the First Billion Gallons

Emily Newes, Kristin Lewis, Steve Peterson, Matthew Pearlson, Emily Lawless, Kristin Brandt, Dane Camenzind, Michael Wolcott, Burton English, Gregory Latta, Andrew Malwitz, James Hileman, Nathan Brown, Zia Haq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


The aviation sector's commitments to carbon-neutral growth in international aviation starting in 2020, and the desire to improve supply surety, price stability, and the environmental performance of aviation fuels, have led to broad interest in sustainable alternative jet fuels. Here, we use the system-dynamics-based biomass scenario model (BSM), focused on alternative jet fuel production capacity evolution, and the geospatially explicit Freight and Fuel Transportation Optimization Tool (FTOT), focused on optimal feedstock and fuel flows over the transportation system, to explore the incentive effects on alternative jet fuel production capacity trajectories and potential geospatial patterns of production and delivery in the USA. Scenarios presented here focus on readily available waste feedstocks (waste fats, oils and greases, municipal solid waste, and crop and forestry residues) and conversion technologies included in the ASTM D7566 synthesized aviation turbine fuels specification. The BSM modeling of possible deployment trajectories from 2015 to 2045 suggests that up to 8 billion gallons may be available by 2045 depending on the policies and incentives implemented. Both approaches suggest that 200 million to 1 billion gallons per year of alternative jet fuel production are possible in 2030 given multiple incentives and a favorable investment climate, and that capital costs and technology maturation rates will affect deployment of different fuel production technologies, and therefore the feedstocks needed. Further collaboration on these modeling approaches would reduce methodological blind spots while providing insights into future industry trajectories.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)471-485
Number of pages15
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-70732


  • alternative jet fuel
  • aviation
  • biofuel
  • geospatial optimization
  • sustainable aviation fuel
  • systems dynamics modeling


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