Collaborative Effort Underway To Develop, Commercialize, And
Fly Aviation Biofuel
Two U.S.-based firms joined with
PetroChina, other representatives of the Chinese energy sector and
the global aviation industry in announcing an agreement to evaluate
the possible establishment of a sustainable aviation biofuels
industry in China. The strategic assessment, signed on Wednesday,
is the first such effort in China and will take a comprehensive
look at the environmental and socio-economic benefits of developing
sustainable alternatives to fossil-based jet fuels.
The project will look at all phases of sustainable aviation
biofuel development including agronomy, energy inputs and outputs,
lifecycle emissions analysis, infrastructure, and government policy
support. The assessment, slated to begin in June, supports a
broader sustainable aviation biofuel agreement between China's
National Energy Administration and the U.S. Trade and Development
Agency to promote the commercialization and use of aviation
biofuels in China through the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program
(ECP), a public-private partnership. Other U.S. companies
participating include AECOM and United Technologies. Air China and
PetroChina Company, Ltd. will lead the Chinese team.
The collaborations were announced at the joint opening of the
Renewable Energy and Advanced Biofuel Fora on May 26, 2010 at the
Beijing Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. The NEA and the Civil Aviation
Administration of China were joined by the U.S. Department of
Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Ambassador to
China Jon Huntsman to commemorate the agreements.
Boeing Research & Technology and the Chinese Academy of
Science's Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology
(QIBEBT) agreed to expand their collaboration to include other
research institutions and aviation supply chain entities as part of
their efforts on algae-based aviation biofuel development. Boeing
and QIBEBT previously announced the establishment of a joint
research and development laboratory focused on algal growth,
harvesting and processing technologies. The Joint Laboratory for
Sustainable Aviation Biofuels will be located in Qingdao and
managed by Boeing Research & Technology-China and QIBEBT, which
will work together to place a strong emphasis on commercial
applications for developed technologies.
Aviation biofuel made by Honeywell's UOP has been used for
demonstration flights on Boeing commercial aircraft with Air New
Zealand, Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch
Airlines as well as on military demonstration flights with U.S. Air
Force and Navy aircraft.
The UOP process produces Green Jet
Fuel which requires no changes to the aircraft engine technology
when used at a 50 percent blend with petroleum-based jet fuel and
meets or exceeds all specifications for flight. Green Jet Fuel made
from second-generation, non-food sources such as camelina and
jatropha plants offers up to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse
gas emissions over petroleum-based fuels.
Air China, PetroChina, Boeing and Honeywell's UOP have agreed to
conduct an inaugural flight using sustainable biofuel derived from
biomass grown and processed in China. PetroChina will provide the
biomass, which will be processed into jet fuel by UOP. The biofuel
flight, which will occur in China, will highlight the viability of
the entire supply chain - from seed to flight. Additional details
on the flight timing and location will be announced at a future
"Boeing is actively pursuing biofuel research around the world,"
said Boeing China President David Wang. "Sustainable biofuels can
help reduce carbon emissions while offering the potential to lessen
aviation's dependence on fossil fuels. Through these agreements
China, its aviation sector and its leadership are demonstrating
tremendous drive in the quest to develop a clean, sustainable
aviation fuel supply."
"Developing an aviation biofuel industry is a high priority for
China to address growing concern over greenhouse gas emissions and
the threat of volatile jet fuel costs," said Jennifer Holmgren,
vice president of Renewable Energy and Chemicals for Honeywell's
UOP. "This collaboration of governments and industry experts will
develop the complete supply chain for affordable, safe and
domestically produced aviation biofuels in China."