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Google Joins Companies Studying Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Google will build a data framework and use cloud-based technology to track the test batch of a new sustainable aviation fuel for Chevron and Delta, aimed at potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Small airplane
Shutterstock/migrean
(TNS) — Chevron intends to produce aviation biofuel, sell it to Delta Air Lines and track the emissions via Google Cloud, the companies said Tuesday.

Chevron will create a test batch of the fuel at its El Segundo Refinery and Delta will use it at Los Angeles International Airport, a global hub for Delta’s fleet.

The renewable aviation fuel, while costlier than traditional jet fuel, produces fewer carbon emissions because it’s produced from biofuels such as cooking oil and animal fat.

Google will build a data framework and use cloud-based technology to track the test batch of the fuel for Chevron and Delta for potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Chevron says data from the partnership will help it better understand the emissions from renewable aviation fuel production and delivery, supporting its goal to advance lower carbon fuels, Andy Walz, president of Americas Fuels & Lubricants for Chevron, said in the release.

The carrier has pledged to replace 10 percent of its jet fuel with biofuel by 2030.

“As aviation continues to define a more sustainable future, understanding the environmental impacts of our operations will be paramount as we look to mitigate climate change,” Amelia DeLuca, Delta’s managing director of Sustainability said in the release. “This partnership has the potential to help us achieve that goal while providing important data and analytics that demonstrate the environmental integrity of our commitment.”

The companies said they hope to create a common, transparent model for analyzing potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The push for biofuels comes as President Joe Biden pledges to cut U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030. Aviation is considered one of the hardest industries in which to lower carbon dioxide emissions, but oil companies and commercial airlines are working on alternatives to petroleum fuels, including biofuels and hydrogen.

The advent of biofuel-powered airplanes and electric vehicles has broad implications for Houston’s oil and gas industry. Analysts predict biofuels production will nearly double to 5 billion gallons a year by 2025, about 8 percent of current diesel production.

Refiners converting plants to produce biofuels include Phillips 66 of Houston, which in November said it will convert its refinery outside San Francisco to produce biofuels from used cooking oil and animal fats. San Antonio refiner Valero Energy, which operates the largest renewable diesel plant in North America, is planning to more than double the capacity of the Louisiana facility while developing another in Port Arthur.

Royal Dutch Shell and BP are investing in biofuels and Total began producing aviation biofuels last March.

© 2021 the Houston Chronicle. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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