Snohomish County, WSU eyeing Sustainable Aviation Fuels research center in Everett

Washington State University and Snohomish County are teaming up to establish a world-leading research center dedicated to improving sustainable aviation fuels.

Snohomish County leaders announced their proposal to set up a research and development site focused on sustainable aviation fuels at Paine Field Airport at a press conference Tuesday morning. The center would allow for sustainable fuel samples to be more thoroughly tested by researchers and give them opportunities to find more efficient production methods that are less impactful on human health and the environment.

“With our history and resources, Snohomish County is the ideal place for businesses to invest in trailblazing climate change solutions,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “This R&D Center for Sustainable Aviation Fuels is a foundational component of our long-term commitment to generate new jobs in environmentally sustainable sectors and help decarbonize aviation.”

Project leaders are seeking additional state funding to make the center a reality. Washington State Senator Marko Liias has proposed $6.5 million in start-up funding for the project in the proposed Senate Transportation Budget, with State Rep. Brandy Donaghy taking up the effort in the State House of Representatives.

“Washington state’s leadership in aviation and the environment was one of the reasons I moved across the country to join WSU. Here, the state is supporting efforts to meet global challenges while complementing existing strengths,” Joshua Heyne, director of WSU Tri‑Cities’ Bioproducts Science and Engineering Laboratory, said. “WSU research has enabled the inception of global policies and new technologies to benefit state agricultural and industrial activities from Pullman to Everett. We are proud to partner with Snohomish County, our state Legislature, and industry partners to once again meet a global need with local interests.”

The full press release on the center is available on the Snohomish County website.