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Friday, November 28, 2008

Green Flight International
To build $100M Plant

Green Flight International plans to build an estimated $100 million, algae-based biofuel plant in Central Florida aimed at making fuel for the aviation industry as well as ground-based transportation.

The 2-year-old company, which successfully completed the first transcontinental jet flight powered by biofuel earlier this month, is looking at possible sites for the plant, said Douglas Rodante, president and CEO. He did not reveal financing details.

So far, he has put up between $100,000-$200,000 of his own money to finance Green Flight’s activities. “The technology is closer than people realize to commercialization — two to five years,” said Rodante. How much biofuel the plant would produce and how many workers it would employ are still up in the air, Rodante said.

Green Flight’s algae-based biofuel would be able to replace petroleum without alterations to engines or infrastructure, Rodante said, and could be used for all sorts of transportation.

Green Flight is taking a step in the right direction toward energy independence, said aviation analyst Michael Boyd of The Boyd Group Inc. in Colorado. “If they can bring up the threat [of biofuels], it will bring down the price of fossil fuel,” he said. “The key is making it ­economically viable.”

Biofuel takes off

Green Flight International earlier this month successfully completed the first transcontinental jet flight powered by biofuel — a trip closely monitored by the Federal Aviation Administration, which is interested in alternatives to petroleum-based fuels.

Using a 1968 Czech-built jet, Green Flight President and CEO Douglas Rodante and his chief pilot, Carol Sugars, flew from Reno, Nev., to Leesburg, landing Nov. 1 after about 11 hours of flight time.

The FAA, which is developing policies on biofuels and other alternative fuels, worked with Green Flight for about a year on the cross-country project, said spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen. Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Orlando provided lab space and personnel for research and development, said Steve Rocca, senior manager for mechanical engineering laboratories.

For 1,776 miles of the trip, Green Flight used a 100 percent biofuel made of vegetable oil and animal fat. For the remaining 710 miles of the flight, it used a 50-50 percent mix of biofuel and standard jet fuel to compare performance and demonstrate the viability of blending biofuels with jet fuel.
Fast facts
What: a $100 million algae-based biofuel plant
Who: Green Flight International
Conact: greenflightinternational.com

http://orlando.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2008/12/01/story4.html

 
 

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