Airlines Take Off With Pine Needles And Bark In The Tank

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Photo: Southwest Airlines Jet Red Rock Biofuels (courtesy photo)
Southwest Airlines has contracted to purchase jet fuel made from biomass from Fort Collins-based Red Rock Biofuels.

Photo: Southwest Airlines Jet Red Rock Biofuels (courtesy photo)There are lots of dead trees in the West. There's also a growing demand for clean fuel. That's how the founders of Red Rock Biofuels came up with the idea to convert small branches, bark and pine needles into jet fuel. The Fort Collins-based company, which uses a gasification process to make the fuel, is building its first plant in Oregon. Southwest Airlines and FedEx have each signed contracts to buy 3 million gallons a year.

Terry Kulesa, president of Red Rock Biofuels, spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel. Audio from the conversation will be available after noon.