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COVID-19 Advisory: The Ruckelshaus Center is working to keep our communities safe. All programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 12, 2020, the Center’s office is closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference. Contact information can be found here.

Aviation Bio Fuels

Project Overview

The Center has been involved in two related projects designed to promote sustainable aviation biofuels in the Pacific Northwest, helping the region meet its clean energy goals. The first project was called Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Northwest (SAFN). The second is a grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to support a team of academic and private sector researchers called the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA).

Project Description

SAFN was a four-state effort to conduct a regional assessment of the challenges and opportunities associated with the production of sustainable aviation biofuel in the Northwest. The project was sponsored by Alaska Airlines, The Boeing Company, Port of Portland, Port of Seattle, Spokane International Airport and WSU. Facilitation and project management for SAFN was provided by the Seattle-based NGO Climate Solutions. The Center served on the regional stakeholder group participating in the assessment. SAFN released its recommendationsin May 2011.

Building on that involvement, the Center has been tapped by researchers from WSU, UW and many other academic institutions and private companies to provide facilitation and other services for NARA, a five year, $40 million project supported by USDA to explore woody biomass (one of the feedstocks identified by SAFN) as a source of aviation biofuels. The focus is overcoming key obstacles that prevent wood-based jet fuel and petrochemical substitutes from being economically viable. More information on NARA is available at

The Center assembled a facilitation and stakeholder assessment team, including practitioners and support staff affiliated with both WSU and UW. UW Evans School Senior Lecturer Jim Reid is providing internal and external facilitation. WSU Division of Governmental Studies and Services Director Mike Gaffney is providing stakeholder assessment and recommendations.

A second $40 million, five-year grant given out under USDA AFRI also went to the Northwest. The Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB) project focuses on creating biofuels from hybrid poplars and is led by UW researchers, with involvement by WSU and other academic and private partners. WSU Extension is providing outreach for that project.


NARA Key Accomplishments (pdf) (930 KB)
NARA Supply Chain Fact Sheet (pdf) (1.1 MB)
NARA & AHB Projects Comparison Fact Sheet (pdf)
 (1.2 MB)
NARA General Information Fact Sheet (pdf) (660 KB)
NARA Education & Outreach Infographic (pdf) (8 MB)

Project Staff:

Jim Reid, Michael Kern, Molly Stenovec, Michael Gaffney, Christina Sanders


Updated on March 31, 2019

For more information, contact:

Molly Stenovec
Ruckelshaus Center
Project Manager
(206) 219-2411