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Mon, May 31, 2010

Boeing, Honeywell Join Chinese Energy Officials In Biofuels Initiatives

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 date.

"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."

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.uop.com, www.petrochina.com.cn/ptr/, www.airchina.com

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