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Will jet fuel from plants take off?

Jet FuelRed Rock Biofuels of Colorado is developing renewable fuels from forests and sawmills.

The first refinery, to be built in Oregon in part with $70 million in federal grants, will turn tree waste into renewable jet fuel, diesel, and naptha.  Red Rock predicts the plant could produce about 15 million gallons of fuel each year, beginning in 2017 after it comes online in late 2016.

The process begins with the gasification of woody biomass to produce syngas, which is cleaned and converted to renewable syncrude.  Standard refining of the syncrude upgrades it to renewable diesel, jet, and naptha fuels.

Red Rock has support from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture, and the U.S. Navy.  It has also signed a deal with Southwest Airlines to supply three million gallons of fuel.  Southwest will blend the renewable fuel with regular jet fuel for a 50-50 mix to use in flights.

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