Rentech to Supply Renewable Synthetic Fuels for Los Angeles International Airport


Today, Rentech, Inc. announced that it will be supplying renewable synthetic fuels to eight airlines for ground service equipment operations at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

This multi-year agreement will supply the airlines with up to 1.5 million gallons per year of renewable RenDiesel. The airline purchasers under the agreement with Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG) include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and U.S. Airways. The airlines will begin using the RenDiesel in 2012, when the plant that will produce the fuel is scheduled to go into service.

“This commercial purchase contract among Rentech, ASIG and the airlines validates the growing demand for synthetic fuels produced by the Rentech Process,” said D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rentech. “The low-emissions profile and near-zero carbon footprint of our renewable RenDiesel will guarantee that LAX ground service vehicles using this fuel will be among the cleanest and greenest of their kind.”

Ramsbotton continued, “We expect this agreement to serve as a model for future supply relationships at other airports and for other fuels, including Rentech’s synthetic jet fuel, which was recently approved for commercial airline use.”

According to the company, this agreement is the first of its kind to supply renewable synthetic fuels to multiple domestic airlines. The renewable RenDiesel fuel to be supplied to the airlines will be produced from green waste at Rentech’s proposed Rialto Renewable Energy Center (Rialto Project). The renewable diesel fuel will have a carbon footprint of near zero. RenDiesel exceeds all applicable fuels standards, is biodegradable and is virtually free of particulates, sulfur and aromatics. The fuel immediately meets the new emissions standards as set forth in California’s new Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and it is compatible with existing engines and pipelines so no additional infrastructure or engine modifications will be needed.

We are proud to take part in this innovative, collective endeavor that, over time, will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local air quality through the use of greener fuels,” said Glenn F. Tilton, the Board Chairman of the Air Transport Association of America (ATA).

“This transaction promises to be the first of many such green fuel purchase agreements by the commercial aviation industry. It exemplifies the ongoing commitment of airlines and energy suppliers to diversify our fuel sources while contributing to a cleaner environment and adding new jobs to the economy.” Tilton is also the Board Chairman, President and CEO of UAL Corporation.

Rentech is developing a commercial-scale facility in Rialto, California, to produce near carbon zero renewable electric power diesel from urban woody green waste, such as yard clippings. When completed, the facility will produce around 600 barrels per day of renewable synthetic fuels and 35 megawatts of renewable electricity, which is enough to power 30,000 homes. The facility is expected to come online in 2012.

“ASIG is thrilled to have been instrumental in reaching this landmark deal with the airlines and Rentech, reinforcing our strong commitment to our airline customers and environmental stewardship,” said ASIG President Keith P. Ryan. “We are proud to be on the forefront of this innovative effort to advance aviation environmental progress.”

Should this program prove successful, hopefully other airports across the country will adopt similar environmental fuel programs.


Joanna Schroeder

Joanna is a writer and consultant specializing in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture issues.