Washington State University stands ready to answer President Barack Obama’s call to develop renewable aviation biofuels. The president called on the Navy and the departments of Energy and Agriculture to work with partners to create advanced biofuels that can power everything from fighter jets, to commercial airliners.

“We are uniquely poised to deliver the nation’s aviation biofuels in an aggressive and cost effective timeline,” said Howard Grimes, vice president for Research at WSU. “We stand as a national leader with the breadth and depth of our clean technologies.”

WSU has critical experience in the development of oilseeds, woody biomass, and the catalytic conversion necessary to produce aviation biofuels. Along with being heavily leveraged with knowledge, expertise and technology, the university has an extensive history of collaboration with research institutions, private sector partners, and the national laboratories.
 
“Washington state and WSU are in a perfect position to meet the president’s call for energy security,” said U. S. Rep. Jay Inslee, a leader on clean energy issues and one of two members of Congress to join the president at his speech. “WSU, working with its partners, is leading the science and development of advanced biofuels for transportation. Under their leadership, Washington is poised to build a commercial-scale bio-refinery creating jobs in the clean energy economy.”

Washington’s U.S. senators offered similar strong sentiments of support.

“WSU is on the cutting edge of biofuels research that will help provide America with alternatives to expensive jet fuel,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell. “This work at WSU creates local jobs, supports our state’s agricultural economy, and will reduce our nation’s reliance on foreign oil. As chair of Senate subcommittees on energy and aviation, I am working to ensure that Washington’s biofuels leadership contributes to national efforts to lower the cost of planes’ fuel and decrease pollution.”

“One of our state’s strongest clean-energy assets is WSU, which is a national leader in developing the next generation of biofuels for aviation and other forms of transportation,” said Sen. Patty Murray. “Washington state is already leading the way in the clean-energy economy, and I know that our farmers, researchers, and innovative businesses are well-positioned to answer the president’s call to action.”

Most recently, WSU has been a founding partner in the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest project, which combines the efforts of Boeing, Alaska Airlines, the Northwest’s major airports, and more than 40 other regional stakeholders in pioneering the development of a sustainable aviation biofuel effort.

"Washington State University has a very strong faculty addressing the opportunities for aviation and other biofuels, said Ralph Cavalieri, director of WSU’s Agricultural Research Center. “Among them are some of the most highly regarded research experts globally, who are uniquely qualified to tackle projects of this magnitude and significance.”

"We lead the way not only in research, but also in partnering to actually make and deliver high quality aviation fuels,” Grimes said.