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Canadian researchers to carry out first test flight to use 100% jet biofuel from GM Brassica carinata

GreenAir reports that a joint initiative involving the National Research Council of Canada is working on the first-ever civil aircraft flight to use 100% unblended jet biofuel, which is under the brand name ReadiJet,  A twin-engined Falcon 20 aircraft belonging to NRC will use fuel derived from Canadian-grown Brassica carinata supplied by Agrisoma Biosciences. They say this is a non-food crop which is grown on the Canadian southern Prairies. It appears that Brassica carinata is being  genetically modified to produce the oils wanted for jet fuel.  More than 40 commercial growers in Western Canada were contracted this year to grow over 6,000 acres (2,400ha) of the crop that will be used to create the fuel for the engine performance and emissions flight testing. In April a test flight used 1% of this fuel. They say the crop is grown on marginal ground in the brown soil zone regions of western Canada.

 


Canadian researchers to carry out first-ever civil aircraft test flight to use 100 per cent jet biofuel

2 Oct 2012  (GreenAir online)

A joint initiative involving the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is paving the way for the first-ever civil aircraft flight to use 100% unblended jet biofuel.

A twin-engined Falcon 20 aircraft belonging to NRC will use fuel derived from Canadian-grown Brassica carinata supplied by Agrisoma Biosciences. The Resonance brand industrial oilseed non-food crop is ideally suited for production in semi-arid regions such as the Canadian southern Prairies, says Agrisoma. More than 40 commercial growers in Western Canada were contracted this year to grow over 6,000 acres (2,400ha) of the crop that will be used to create the fuel for the engine performance and emissions flight testing. Canada’s first revenue biofuel flight conducted by Porter Airlines in April used a blend that contained one per cent of fuel made from Agrisoma’s feedstock.

Other partners in the project include Applied Research Associates (ARA), Chevron Lummus Global, the Government of Canada’s Clean Transportation Initiatives and the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN).

“This is a perfect example of how industry and government work together to bridge the gap between Canadian innovation and commercialisation,” said Dr Roman Szumski, Vice-President for Life Sciences at NRC.

Commented Dr Steven Fabijanski, President & CEO of Agrisoma: “NRC’s expertise across many technology areas and their first-class flight research services are helping us to complete the validation cycle of Resonance. The upcoming flight will showcase Resonance-based biofuels as a viable alternative for the aviation industry.”

The company says the vigorous crop has been specifically developed for production on marginal ground in the brown soil zone regions of western Canada, with good resistance to biotic and abiotic stressors, excellent harvestability, as well as good lodging and shatter resistance. Trials have shown it to deliver oil content of 44% with yields that deliver attractive economics for growers.

[ It appears this is probably a genetically modified crop  and introduction of stragegic genes into Brassica carinata  and Canadian Food Inspection Agency  and novel industrial oil seed crops for Canada - AirportWatch note. See below]

The biofuel, under the brand name ReadiJet, has been produced by ARA under contract to the US Air Force Research Laboratory using technology developed by ARA and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG). ARA says its Catalytic Hydrothermolysis (CH) process mimics nature’s way of converting biomass to petroleum crude. While nature’s processes take millions of years, it takes minutes for the CH process to turn plant oils into a high-quality crude oil intermediate, claims the company.

The process uses water at high temperature and pressure to both crack and cyclise plant or algal oils into compounds that are ideal for jet and diesel fuels, reports ARA. The technology does not depend on conventional hydrocracking processes, is less expensive to build and operate, does not require hydrocracking catalysts and the CH crude oil requires less hydrogen for refining into finished fuels, adds the company.

ARA, which has a US patent on the process, says the technology has been proven in mature pilot systems.

CLG’s ISOCONVERSION catalysts upgrade the intermediate into on-specification, finished drop-in fuels that are fungible and nearly identical to petroleum derived fuels.

The ReadiJet fuel is tailored to meet all commercial and military jet fuel specifications, says ARA, which will test the fuel with NRC against ASTM and military specifications and evaluate it in ground-based tests before the Falcon 20 test flight.

The NRC Falcon 20 will be trailed during the test flight by a T-33 aircraft equipped to measure in-flight emissions, allowing for later evaluation of the fuel’s emissions performance.

“The integrated ARA/CLG ISOCONVERSION process and Agrisoma’s Resonance feedstock provide a pathway for fulfilling the commercial and military markets’ requirements for alternative fuels at parity with petroleum while spurring opportunities for farmers,” said Chuck Red, ARA’s Alternative Fuels Program Lead. “We look forward to this partnership with NRC to help us validate the combination of Canadian developed and grown feedstocks and our processing technology as a leading alternative fuel solution.”

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1599

 

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Earlier

Bombardier Q400 plane to make first Canadian commercial flight on 49% Camelina + 1% GM brassica carinata

22.3.2012

In mid-April, Porter Airlines plans to use one of its Bombardier 70- to 80-seat Q400 turboprop airliners to conduct the first biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada. It has already made a biofuel test flight.  Rather cynically they are timing their flight close to Earth Day “to emphasize the contribution that biofuels are expected to make in helping the aviation industry meet its targeted reduction in emissions,” and there are a lot of worthy-sounding green sentiments expressed about carbon savings …. the usual over-optimistic greenwash stuff. The fuel they will use will be 50% biofuel, and of that 49% camelina and 1% Brassica carinata (a member of the brassica family, similar to rape, and also called Ethiopian mustard).  Targeted Growth Canada (TGC) produced the crop of Camelina. The 1% Brassica carinata may be a GM crop, being grown in Canada. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1672 
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More about Braccica carinata

Details of genetically modified Brassica carinata from Agrisoma   http://agrisoma.com/#pageID=109  and  http://agrisoma.com/#pageID=85

Also

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/faminefood/category3/cat3_Brassica_carinata.htm

It appears this plant is edible, and is eaten a lot in Ethiopia, for its leaves and for its seeds. Also called Ethiopian mustard.

http://www.mendeley.com/research/brassica-carinata-as-an-alternative-oil-crop-for-the-production-of-biodiesel-in-italy-agronomic-evaluation-fuel-production-by-transesterification-and-characterization/

It appears to be similar to rape which is Brassica napus

http://www.europeana.eu/portal/record/92040/D87D4B363C3007143A374DFD0CAA0378B4A4B129.html

And more about it at

http://www.producer.com/2012/01/jets-test-fuel-from-new-oilseed%E2%80%A9/

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Links from GreenAir online:
National Research Council of Canada
Agrisoma Biosciences
Applied Research Associates
Chevron Lummus Global
Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN)
Related GreenAir Online articles:

Global use of sustainable aviation fuels widens with first commercial flights for South America, Australia and Canada
Global use of sustainable aviation fuels widens with first commercial flights for South America, Australia and Canada
Canadian programme formed to undertake camelina-sourced biofuel test flight of a Bombardier turboprop
Canadian programme formed to undertake camelina-sourced biofuel test flight of a Bombardier turboprop
CLONE – Canadian programme formed to undertake camelina-sourced biofuel test flight of a Bombardier turboprop

Read more »

Lufthansa turns to algae and municipal solid waste as sources of jet biofuel

In a long and detailed article, with customary thoroughness, Green Air examines what is happening with Lufthansa and jet biofuel. While Solena has still not announced progress on building a plant in east London to produce  jet fuel from London’s municipal waste for BA, it is progressing in Germany. There are plans in the Schwedt/Oder region of eastern Germany to build a Solena facility, using waste from landfills and incinerators. They hope to convert more than 520,000 tonnes of waste biomass into jet fuel, diesel fuel and electricity. Lufthansa is also looking to obtain jet fuel made from algae by Australian based Algae.Tec, which plans to grow algae in 40 ft shipping containers, using light capture arrays and light tubes, and CO2 from an industrial source – as well as water and minerals. Algae.Tec have so far opened a one-container test facility south of Sydney. 

 


 

Algae.Tec’s McConchie-Stroud growth and harvesting system, constructed inside shipping containers

Lufthansa turns to algae and municipal solid waste in quest for new sources of sustainable jet biofuel

Fri 21 Sept 2012  ( GreenAir online)

In its quest to secure new sources of sustainable jet biofuel, Lufthansa has signed agreements with Solena Fuels and Australian-based Algae.Tec.

Solena has already identified a site for its first production facility in Germany, situated not far from the border with Poland in the Schwedt/Oder region. The project will be the first of its kind in Central Europe to provide synthetic biofuels from large-scale waste from landfills and incinerators. It will provide Lufthansa with drop-in, certified jet fuel for prospective use on commercial flights.

Solena says an announcement on progress concerning its proposed London project with British Airways is imminent.

Algae.Tec’s collaborative deal with Lufthansa involves the construction of a large-scale plant in Europe to produce aviation biofuel from algae.  Both companies took part in the Alternative Aviation Fuels Pavilion at the ILA Air Show in Berlin last week, along with other biofuel producers including natural gas to jet fuel technology company Primus Green Energy.

“Lufthansa is pleased to assist Solena in developing its first plant in Germany and is working towards a long-term, bankable offtake agreement with Solena Fuels,” said Joachim Buse, the airline’s Vice President Aviation Biofuels. “We believe that Solena’s capabilities to process multiple types of waste feedstock represent a good opportunity in our endeavour to meet our emission reduction commitments.”

The German facility will convert more than 520,000 tonnes of waste biomass into jet fuel, diesel fuel and electricity. The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the two parties will see the joint development of fuel supplies and delivery to the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which is due to open in a year’s time.

“Lufthansa has been a pioneer in the biofuels industry and we are pleased to see their support to Fischer-Tropsch bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene (FT-SPK), an industry accepted fuel which meets and exceeds ETS standards based on both Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels schemes and Renewable Energy Directive methodology for life-cycle analysis evaluation,” commented Solena CEO Dr Robert Do.

He told GreenAir that the early identification and approval of the refinery site at the PCK Industry Park in Schwedt/Oder had contrasted with the length of time it was taking to select and get the necessary planning permission for a site in east London for its GreenSky project with British Airways.

Do also said the technology that will be used in the London plant will be blueprinted for the German facility. He indicated that an important announcement would soon be made on the London project.

The existing PCK Refinery at the industrial park is among the largest companies in the state of Brandenburg and processes around 12 million tonnes of crude oil annually into mineral oil and petrochemical products, including jet fuel for Berlin’s airports. It was also one of the first refineries in Germany to use biofuels and is a leading producer of high-quality biofuel components.

“It was a pleasure for us to assist Solena in identifying a plant location that offers close proximity to biomass waste, jet fuel logistics to Berlin Brandenburg Airport and synergies with both traditional and biofuel refineries,” said Dr Marcus Schmidt, Director Chemicals at Germany Trade & Invest. “Solena’s facility will create substantial economic, development and employment opportunities benefiting the greater Schwedt/Oder area and the State of Brandenburg.”

The location for the Algae.Tec facility to produce jet biofuel from algae for Lufthansa has not yet been revealed – although it is likely to be in southern Europe – but it will be close to an industrial CO2 source, a prerequisite for the company’s technology, which captures carbon pollution from power stations and manufacturing facilities to feed into the algae growth system.

The process uses enclosed photo-bioreactors that are retrofitted into 40-foot shipping containers linked to solar light capture arrays. The containers can be linked together as modules, depending on the scale of production required.

“We put sunlight inside the containers via a fibre optic tube, take CO2 from the facility and add water and nutrients,” Algae-Tec’s Managing Director, Peter Hatfull, told GreenAir. “The technology inside the box is basically a very large surface area we have developed so, in effect, what is created is a very large pond and ideal growing conditions. This in turn creates a perpetual algal bloom within our boxes.”

What eventually comes out of the process is vegetable oil and a biomass of simple sugars and edible protein, which can be turned into animal feed or further hydro-cracked into jet fuel.

“The key to the technology is the high-volume growth we get that brings down the cost structure,” said Hatfull. “Compared to a pond system, it’s controllable and you can put it where you like, in different sizes and around your CO2 source. On a net basis, for every tonne of algae we produce, we capture two tonnes of CO2.” [ ? ]

Although the technology has only been tested under small-scale conditions and so far for less than a year, he is confident each container module is capable of producing 250 tonnes of algae per year. A standard plant consisting of 500 modules would therefore produce 125,000 tonnes per year and capture 250,000 tonnes of stackgas CO2 emissions.

At an operational cost of around US$185/tonne plus $50/tonne capital cost, Hatfull said this equated to “a very competitive” price of between $40 to $50 per barrel of oil. He estimates a two-year payback on the capital costs, with a minimum 20 to 30 modules necessary to break even but anticipates 250 to 500 being the more likely set-up for a commercial operation.

Last month, Algae.Tec opened a one-container test facility next to a flour waste to ethanol manufacturing plant south of Sydney with the aim of producing jet fuel. If the test goes according to plan then a 250-module plant will be built, potentially upgradable to 500. The photo-bioreactors were manufactured at Algae.Tec’s USA headquarters in Atlanta, which boasts a state-of-the-art laboratory, multiple test units and a fabrication facility.

Although a number of the major algae-based biotech companies are eyeing the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets as a potentially more lucrative income stream, Hatfull says this is not as attractive to Algae.Tec as jet fuel. “At the moment, airlines are showing tremendous interest in buying sustainable fuels at a competitive price and they have to do something about their carbon footprint. They are the ideal partners.”

Algae.Tec has recently recruited former Qantas sustainable fuels specialist Colin McGregor as General Manager Project Operations.

The relationship with Lufthansa is at an early MoU stage but Hatfull expects it to progress to an offtake agreement. “They are willing to partner with us to identify sites and talk to CO2 producers,” he says. “They have a real desire to do something to get a source of sustainable fuel.”

Another biofuel producer in the process of setting up a similar partnership with a major airline is US-based Primus Green Energy. The company is a developer of a syngas-to-gasoline technology that converts natural gas and/or biomass into high-quality, high-octane gasoline and jet fuel. With a pilot plant already in operation at its New Jersey headquarters, Primus is in the process of building an automated demonstration plant on the site.

Now it is planning to break ground next year on a commercial-scale plant in Louisiana capable of producing between 20 and 30 million gallons of fuel per year by the end of 2015, with 80% of the production in time being renewable jet fuel. Primus is in the process of reaching an agreement very shortly with an unnamed major US airline to take the full jet fuel output on a long-term – between 10 and 20 years – basis.

Details are still being worked out, said George Boyajian, VP Business Development of Primus at the ILA Air Show, but the airline may take the feedstock and front-end pricing risk as part of the agreement. The terms of the pricing structure of the jet fuel to the airline will remain confidential for the time being, he says. “We have a couple of different models but it largely depends on how they get their price on the front end. They have been very flexible and innovative on putting this deal together. For them, reducing the variability of the cost of the jet fuel is their highest priority. Their attitude has been ‘what do we need to do to make this succeed?’.”

Added Primus CEO Robert Johnsen: “And then the contract will become the basis that enables us to project finance the $180 million construction cost of this facility.”

The Primus technology of converting the feedstock to syngas and using a catalytic process to convert it to drop-in jet fuel is similar to Fischer-Tropsch (FT) but has many advantages over FT, said Boyajian.  Capital and operating costs are much lower as the number of end products are lower – one or two, compared to six or seven from FT, he said. The Primus process also has a considerable advantage in terms of conversion efficiency by mass of the feedstock, which means more gasoline or jet fuel can be produced at a lower cost and competitive with fossil-based crude equivalents, at around $2 per gallon without a government subsidy, he claimed.

A controversial aspect of the process is that biomass feedstock can be replaced or supplemented with natural gas, of which there are abundant supplies in the United States compared with unreliable and potentially costly sources of woody or herbaceous biomass. Not all airlines will be comfortable with using natural gas as feedstock, despite claims of lower carbon life-cycle emissions than petroleum-based fuels. However, said Boyajian, locking in at current natural gas prices on a long-term basis, say for 10 years, could provide jet fuel at an equivalent price of around $70 per barrel. Even if in the unlikely event the price of natural gas was to treble, it would still represent a per barrel price of only $100, he added.

Another downside is that the pathway has not yet been approved by ASTM for use in commercial airline operations but Primus is confident that its high-quality jet fuel product will be passed within three years.

“We’ve had samples of our fuels tested in the labs and they have come up very well,” said Johnsen. “We have a partner that we will be announcing shortly who will guide us through the approvals process. The process will require a bigger supply of samples for testing purposes and we will be able to produce them at our new demo plant from next year.”

Given the ASTM approval hurdle and that its high-octane gasoline product is superior in quality to fuel found at the pumps, what is the attraction for Primus to supply the airline sector with jet biofuel rather than gasoline for ground transport? “It’s a discrete market that isn’t going to go away in that it isn’t going to be replaced by electric power,” said Johnsen. “The end users are so motivated to work with us and to have an alternative to crude that they are prepared to engage in a long-term supply contract that we in turn need in order to build a plant. We can provide a domestic North American solution that is an alternative to the global crude oil price mechanism they are currently subject to.”

 

Links:
Lufthansa – Biofuels
Solena Fuels
Algae.Tec
Primus Green Energy

 

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1593

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Old 40 ft (12.2 m) shipping containers are converted into photobioreactors

21/09/2012

Lufthansa branches into algae jet fuel

Algae.Tec’s method produces oil for under A$40/bbl

Helen Tunnicliffe

GERMAN airline Lufthansa has signed a deal with Algae.Tec to build an industrial-scale aviation biofuels plant.

The plant will produce crude algal oil for conversion into jet fuel and biodiesel. Under the agreement, Lufthansa will provide the funding to build the plant and agree to purchase at least 50% of the oil produced for a set period of time. Algae.Tec will manage the project and receive licence fees and profits.

The plant’s location has yet to be agreed, but it will be in Europe and adjacent to an industrial source of carbon dioxide, which is needed for algae growth. The size and cost of this project has not been revealed, but in August, Algae.Tec chairman Roger Stroud said that a commercial-scale facility using its technology would cost A$80–120m (US$84–126m).

Algae.Tec’s enclosed McConchie-Stroud system has been recognised for its low use of water and land. Old 40 ft (12.2 m) shipping containers are converted into photobioreactors, which are attached to solar light capture arrays. Carbon dioxide captured from power stations or manufacturing facilities is pumped through the reactors. 500 modules could produce 125,000 t/y of algae and capture 250,000 t/y of carbon dioxide emissions. The cost of the oil is less than A$40/bbl.

Lufthansa is not the first airline to seek alternative sources of aviation fuel. In May, US airline Delta bought the Trainer refinery in Pennsylvania, US, for US$150m and will spend a further US$100m to maximise jet fuel production. It hopes to minimise the impact of rising kerosene prices

http://www.tcetoday.com/latest%20news/2012/september/lufthansa%20branches%20into%20algae%20jet%20fuel.aspx

 

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Lufthansa pilots algae jet fuel plant in Europe

By BusinessGreen Staff
Published September 21, 2012
Lufthansa pilots algae jet fuel plant in Europe

In related news, aircraft traffic services company NATS has teamed up with British Airways (BA) for a four-month trial of environmentally “perfect” transatlantic flights, which could help reduce the impact of the projected doubling of European air traffic by 2030.

The first phase of the Topflight project will see 60 BA flights experiment with operational techniques such as taxiing to an optimized flight profile and continuous descent approach designed to achieve minimal emissions and delay.

It is expected that each trip will save approximately 500kg in fuel, equivalent to 1.6 tons of CO2 emissions. A previous collaboration between the two in 2010 saw a single environmentally optimized flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh save a quarter of a ton of fuel and nearly one ton of CO2.

The project, which comes under the auspices of the European Community’s Single European Sky initiative (SESAR), would then look at introducing multiple “perfect” flights crossing the Atlantic simultaneously to prove that the concept is viable for the industry as a whole.

“Topflight is an exciting opportunity to prove the ‘perfect’ flight concept is scalable and sustainable in an operational environment,” said Patrick Ky, executive director at the SESAR Joint Undertaking. “If successful, the trial could have a profound impact on the way the aviation industry works in the future.”

http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/09/21/lufthansa-algae-jet-fuel-plant-europe?page=0%2C1

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First possible sign of activity on the London Solena biofuel plant – of which nothing has been heard for several years:

January 22, 2014

Solena Fuels Corporation is pleased to announce that David K. Lyle has joined Solena as Vice President, Executive Project Director. As Solena’s Executive Project Director, Mr. Lyle will be responsible for managing and delivering Solena’s IBGTL [ means Integrated Biomass-Gas to Liquid] solution from FEED [means front end engineering and design] through commissioning of each plant starting with Solena’s flagship project in London.
http://www.solenafuels.com/index.php/in-the-news/10-solena-makes-the-news-items/42-solena-fuels-strengthens-management-team

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Germany and the US strengthen ties to develop alternative aviation fuels with intergovernmental agreement

The German Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany  (aireg) and the American Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), have signed an agreement to co-operate on developing biofuels for aviation. Aireg  wants  biofuel making up 10% of aviation fuel in Germany by 2015. They both want government help in getting aviation biofuel started, and scaling it up commercially. They want harmonisation of standards between Europe and the USA until a global standard could be agreed. They want government to ensure that biomass and biofuels are available for use by airlines.  They say “Governments need to ensure policies and incentives are in place and venture capital is available for financing research and infrastructure towards the transition to large-scale production. And they talk about jobs and growth, from bio jet fuels. No specific feed stock is mentioned.


Germany and the US strengthen ties to develop alternative aviation fuels with intergovernmental agreement

14.9.2012 (GreenAir online)

The German and United States governments this week signed an agreement to cooperate on further development of alternative aviation fuels.

The agreement will focus on harmonising sustainability standards, working towards approval for new processes, expanding the availability of raw materials and commercialisation.

It will also strengthen the growing relationship between the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), http://www.caafi.org/   the US industry, research and government agency coalition, and its German equivalent aireg. ( http://www.aireg.de/en/  Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany )

Joachim Buse, aireg Vice-President and responsible for Lufthansa’s biofuel programme, said an aim of aireg was to see sustainable biofuel making up 10% of total jet fuel consumption in Germany by 2025.

The signing took place at the ILA Berlin Air Show, where aireg and CAAFI held a high-ranking conference to discuss the future of alternative aviation fuels.

“Our two nations agree that aviation has to make an essential contribution to more climate protection and more energy efficiency,” said Dr Peter Ramsauer, the German Federal Minister of Transport, at the agreement signing ceremony. The industry target of halving carbon emissions by 2050 was extremely ambitious, he said, but air transport was a global sector and the agreement would serve as an example for other governments in the world to follow.

“With the US-German intergovernmental agreement, we aim to make research and development in alternative aviation fuels even more dynamic,” he added. “This provides us with a good framework within which forward-looking solutions can be discussed.”

The US ambassador to Germany, Philip Murphy, said the agreement and others that had been previously signed with Australia and Brazil would facilitate a technological exchange that would be an asset to the airline industry around the world.

“The US is committed to making aviation as clean and as energy efficient as possible as part of our NextGen air traffic modernisation goals,” he said. “Clean alternative fuels that can be used in existing aircraft are one of the best near-term tools to that end. They can help address some of the challenges that commercial aviation faces today, namely environmental impacts, fuel costs and energy security. The aerospace industry has often led the way in technical innovation and through initiatives like this, it is doing it again. Working with German and other partners to develop sustainable alternative jet fuels offers broad opportunities for aerospace to team with agriculture and energy to find solutions to the environmental challenges the world faces.”

Richard Altman, Executive Director of CAAFI, said cooperation between his organisation and German colleagues had been ongoing for six years, with strong existing partnerships already in place at many levels, and the formal agreement “is not the beginning but the end of the beginning and the real work begins for us.”

He said the agreement contained 19 elements covering many areas, from feedstocks to qualification processes to financing. There were no longer the resources to carry out all the necessary work in one single country but it was important to work together to ensure there was no overlaps or gaps left uncovered, he added.

The CAAFI and aireg relationship, said Altman, would serve as a model and template for the development and deployment of alternative sustainable aviation fuels in the rest of the world.

Setting out the goals of the agreement, Joachim Buse said that with different sustainability standards applying around the world, the harmonisation of standards between Europe and the United States was an important issue until a global standard could be agreed.

He pointed out that biomass produced by a US farmer under the US RFS standard would currently not be accepted within the EU as a sustainable food crop, and the same would apply in the other direction.

Another concern was the need for certification and approval of new feedstocks as other sources of biomass would need to be found for aviation purposes, particularly as Germany was not in a position to grow its own. Intergovernmental agreements on biomass supply, he said, would be needed to help this process.

“The signing of this agreement will not just have an impact at our level of cooperation but also relations at government level and that is a very important concern of ours,” said Buse. “We’re not trying to get an advantage for aviation compared to other modes of transport but we wish to ensure that biomass and biofuels are available for use by airlines.”

Buse said the goal for aireg airline members to be using 10% biokerosene in all jet fuel by 2025 would also require at least one second-generation biorefinery in Germany to produce synthetic fuel for airlines.

“We assume that the majority of raw materials required to fulfil our goal will come from outside of Germany. To make this work, both the raw materials suppliers and processors need reliable framework conditions.”

Second generation jet biofuels were still considerably more expensive than conventional and historically reliable Jet-A fuel, he added, and cooperation throughout the value chain, as well as government support at national and EU level was required to make them cost competitive. “We need start-up financing that allows us to build a bridge from small-scale to large-scale production so that we can benefit from the scaling-up effect. We do not advocate permanent subsidies but we want useful, systematic and directed support for a start so that aviation in Germany – not just aireg members but all airlines refuelling in Germany – is able to purchase jet biofuel at competitive prices.”

Aireg says it costs around $2,100 to produce one tonne of biokerosene compared to $925 for a tonne of fossil kerosene and is pushing for funding instruments such as investment grants for biorefineries or state price guarantees to ensure purchases of jet biofuel.

Buse added that a national development plan for alternative aviation fuels was required which included concrete dates and targets.

CAAFI’s Altman said current US projections suggested sustainable aviation biofuels derived from some processes could achieve cost parity with conventional fossil fuel by 2017. [These are likely to be from sources that compete directly with food].

Both Buse and Altman said they would welcome similar cooperation agreements with other countries and help build towards a common global solution. “Aireg already has international members such as Neste and Total, so it’s not limited to German companies,” said Buse. “We are happy to work with other initiatives wherever they are, as long as they have the same goals.”

Added Altman: “CAAFI too has 15 to 18 companies from all continents. Our idea is to build templates of cooperation in various areas as we have done in Australia and Brazil, and to globalise as soon as it becomes practical but not from a purely policy perspective but building up from a ‘doing’ perspective so we actually have solutions.”

Speaking at the aireg/CAAFI conference on Wednesday (12th), Matthias Ruete, the European Commission’s transport Director-General, said as part of the EU Biofuels Flightpath initiative – which is aiming to achieve an annual production of two million tonnes of sustainably produced biofuel for aviation by 2020 – it would be necessary to build international partnerships.

“We have always looked across the Atlantic with envy as our US friends have organised themselves much earlier and I very much welcome that Germany, through aireg, has formed a stable cooperation partnership,” he told delegates. “We need to make sure we get other partners involved in this. I was pleased to hear that cooperation with Russia was developing in the field of alternative aviation fuels.”

He said a case was being made within the Commission for additional funding for alternative fuels but the debate would not be easy given spending constraints. However, by the end of the year he anticipated budgets for the period 2014-20 would be agreed that would be based on jobs and growth. “I hope we will be able to create the necessary space in order that we can guarantee the Biofuels Flightpath will be part of this programme.”

EADS and former Airbus CEO Tom Enders told the conference: “No-one would have believed aviation biofuels would have developed at such a pace within only a few years.” However, it was necessary to push for large-scale production of such fuels that would require the commitment, involvement and investment of key stakeholders beyond the industry, he said.

“Governments need to ensure policies and incentives are in place and venture capital is available for financing research and infrastructure towards the transition to large-scale production.

“We will be able to achieve many things in aviation within a few years that seem unthinkable today if clear decisions are made and if the right political course is set now. Alternative aviation fuels are only at the beginning of their development. Many things are possible if policymakers, the industry and science strengthen their cooperation to shape the future of alternative fuels.”

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1590

Links:
aireg
CAAFI

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Airbus and Boeing collaborating with Chinese on aviation biofuels – using “gutter oil”

Airbus has joined forces with China’s Tsinghua University to promote the production and use of aviation biofuel in China. They will look at a wide range of feedstocks, including used cooking oil, that might (?) otherwise be wasted, and also algae. The full sustainability analysis should be completed by the beginning of 2013. It hopes to produce useful quantities of aviation fuel for commercial use. In August, Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) opened a joint technology center in Beijing dedicated to aviation fuel and emissions. They say China annually consumes approximately 29 million tons of cooking oil, while its aviation system uses 20 million tons of jet fuel.  There is a lot of dirty “gutter oil” from restaurants, which has been illicitly re-used in food. There are forecasts that  passenger traffic in China will surpass 300 million this year and will reach 1.5 billion passengers by 2030.



 

Airbus partners with Chinese on aviation biofuels

By Anne Paylor

September 13, 2012  (ATW)

Airbus has joined forces with China’s Tsinghua University to promote the production and use of aviation biofuel in China.

The  partners will initially conduct a sustainability analysis of Chinese feedstocks, assessing compliance with ecological, economic and social sustainability criteria. This will include a wide range of feedstocks, including used cooking oil, that would otherwise be wasted, and also algae.

The sustainability analysis is being managed by Airbus and involves close collaboration with Tsinghua and leading European institutions. The first results will be analyzed later this year and the full sustainability analysis should be completed by the beginning of 2013. It will evaluate how best to support development of processes that speed up the commercialisation of aviation biofuels and identify the most promising alternative fuel solutions.

Airbus new energies program manager Frédéric Eychenne said the commercialisation of alternative fuels “is one of the essential ingredients in our quest to achieving ambitious environmental targets in aviation.”

From 2013 onwards, the partners will look at scaling-up alternative fuel production to achieve sustainable quantities of aviation fuel for commercial use.

Project manager Zhang Xiliang, director of  the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University said the project would “help us improve the understanding of the nature of aviation biofuels commercialisation in China, identify the opportunities and challenges, and evaluate the possibility of social, economic, market and technology change and its cost, obstacles and challenges. ”

The partnership agreement is one of several Airbus initiatives to develop a complete sustainable aviation biofuel production capability in China, using only sustainable resources.

In August, Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China opened a joint technology center in Beijing dedicated to commercial aviation energy and emissions research projects.

(ATWEco-Aviation Newsletter, Aug. 21).

http://atwonline.com/eco-aviation/article/airbus-partners-chinese-aviation-biofuels-0913?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AtwDailyNews+%28ATW+Daily+News%29

 

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Boeing-COMAC technology center opens

By Karen Walker  (ATW)

August 21, 2012

Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) have opened a joint technology center in Beijing dedicated to commercial aviation energy and emissions research projects.

The Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center’s project will explore opportunities to refine waste cooking oil into sustainable aviation biofuel. Research will focus on identifying contaminants in so-called “gutter oil” [produced from recycled cooking oil, frying grease and sewage, and which has frequently been resold illegally for use in restaurants and food stands ] and processes that could treat and clean it for use as jet fuel.

“Waste cooking oil shows potential for sustainable aviation biofuel production and an alternative to petroleum-based fuel because China annually consumes approximately 29 million tons of cooking oil, while its aviation system uses 20 million tons of jet fuel. Finding ways to convert discarded “gutter oil” into jet fuel could enhance regional biofuel supplies and improve biofuel’s affordability,” the companies said in a statement.

Funded by both companies, the technology center enter is working with China-based universities and research institutions to expand knowledge in areas such as sustainable aviation biofuels and air traffic management that improve commercial aviation’s efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. It is located in COMAC’s new Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute.

“The new Boeing-COMAC Technology Center reflects our companies’ mutual commitment to make progress on industry challenges, such as the need to reduce carbon emissions. These industry issues cannot be solved by one company alone,” Boeing China president Marc Allen said.

http://atwonline.com/eco-aviation/article/boeing-comac-technology-center-opens-0821

 

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Boeing Aims to Turn Cooking Oil Waste into Aviation Biofuel in China

AUGUST 20, 2012 (Clean Technica)

Boeing, one of the world’s largest aviation companies, is teaming up with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) in a bid to increase aviation biofuels in the emerging market country.

According to a recent article from Waste Management World, both companies will fund the project. The co-venture will be located in the COMAC Beijing Aeronautical Science & Technology Research Institute (BASTRI). The project will look at treating cooking oil and making it into a valuable aviation biofuel.

The centre will also look at advancing aviation biofuels and efficiency through air traffic management. It is all in a bid to expand the ever-growing need for China’s aviation market, while making it more environmentally sustainable.

Consider some interesting facts from the Waste Management World article regarding China’s ferocious appetite for flying:

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has forecast that passenger traffic in China will surpass 300 million this year and will reach 1.5 billion passengers by 2030.

Boeing said that it estimated that Chinese airlines will need to buy 5,000 new airplanes by 2030 to meet the extraordinary demand.

While there has often been criticism about flying’s big footprint, the importance of creating aviation biofuels will be the ultimate test of environmental sustainability in a globalized economy.

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/08/20/boeing-aims-to-turn-cooking-oil-waste-into-aviation-biofuel-in-china/

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Shanghai tycoon aims to turn ‘gutter oil’ into jet fuel

 

    • Staff Reporter  (Want China Times)

17 .7.2012

Employees from Shanghai Luming collect used oil to turn into airplane fuel. (Photo courtesy of Luming)Employees from Shanghai Luming collect used oil to turn into airplane fuel. (Photo courtesy of Luming)

Chinese businessman and industrialist Ye Zhenyao has grabbed public interest after it was announced that one of his companies may soon turn the “gutter oil” that has been at the center of food scandals in the country into airplane fuel.

Ye’s Shanghai Luming Environmental Technology is handling the treatment of gutter oil, which is produced from recycled cooking oil, frying grease and sewage, and which has frequently been resold illegally for use in restaurants and food stands across the country. The company has been searching for ways to process the used oil into biodiesel and use it as an alternative fuel source.

Ye told the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald that his company is capable of processing used cooking oil into biodiesel. But it is still working on research as it needs two further technical levels to upgrade the product into aviation-grade fuel, he said.

Yet Ye added that his company has secured a business contract to supply biodiesel to Holland’s SkyNGR Group, which has found ways to further process the biodiesel, becoming the world’s leading supplier of sustainable aviation fuel.

The Chinese firm has been losing money on the biodiesel project for seven consecutive years. The losses have only been offset by an affiliate’s profits, as well as government subsidies for handling waste disposal and treatment operations in Shanghai.

To continue the biodiesel project, Ye invited a new investor, the Hangzhou-based Authority Asset Management, to inject funds in return for a 51% stake, cutting his own share to 49%. It was Fan Bin, chairman of Authority Asset Management, who struck a deal in April to ship semi-processed biodiesel to SkyNGR.

But the picture is still murky. Executives at SkyNGR revealed that no deal has been reached with any Chinese firms and that only letters of intent have been signed.

SkyNRG was founded in 2009 jointly by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the North Sea Group and Spring Associates. KLM is among the airlines that have been using the biofuel supplied by the company.

Sources at Shanghai Luming said the company aims to reach an agreement with SkyNGR on technological cooperation.

Shanghai Luming and Shanghai Sinogas Environmental Technology are the only two companies authorized by the Shanghai government to collect used cooking oil from restaurants in the city. But Shanghai Sinogas, a joint venture between Japanese and local investors, is also operating at a loss. Both companies have been operating at only half capacity, making people wonder where the unused portion of the waste oil they collect ends up.

Ye said more details and concrete information concerning the SkyNGR deal and the processing operations of the waste cooking oil will be revealed later.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20120717000006&cid=1502

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China’s jet biofuels: ready for take off?

August 21, 2012  (Financial Times)

China consumes about 29m tonnes of cooking oil a year, and much of it, when the frying is over, gets thrown away.

Boeing believes this “gutter oil”, as it is locally known, could turn out to be liquid gold. In collaboration with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) it has opened a new lab this month in Beijing, and the first research project will investigate refining waste cooking oil into jet fuel.

Along with research into more efficient air traffic management systems, Boeing claims the work carried out in the Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Centre at COMAC’s new Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute, could significantly reduce the aviation industry’s carbon intensity.

While China’s cooking oil consumption is 29m tonnes, its aviation industry uses 20 million tonnes of petroleum-based jet fuel. The cooking oil thus represents, Boeing and COMAC say, a major opportunity for an alternative fuel source.

COMAC, a state owned company mandated to plan and implement passenger aviation programmes in China, also hopes to become an independent manufacturer of “large Chinese passenger aircraft that will soon be soaring through the blue skies”. Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer, has its sights set on the rapidly expanding Chinese market. The company told beyondbrics,

China is Boeing’s largest international market and COMAC’s home market. Although our companies compete as aircraft manufacturers, we want to partner with a key Chinese stakeholder to expand opportunities for commercial aviation in China and elsewhere. COMAC has unique capabilities and insights that make it a valuable partner.

Boeing has been experimenting with biofuel powered planes since 2008, and ran a test flight of a jatropha-blend powered 747 from Beijing last year, following research undertaken in China. Jatropha is a non-edible plant extensively used for biofuels.

In its 2011 environmental report the company states that it is pursuing research into fuels derived from algae, salt water grasses and oilseeds which it claims ”do not compete with food crops for land or water” – a source of controversy which has dogged the expansion of the biofuels industry elsewhere.

The new venture into gutter oil runs along these lines and targets the Chinese market specifically. While the refining costs at present  make it uncompetitive with conventional fuels, Boeing have claimed it could reach a marketable price in less than 10 years.

Shi Jianzhong, COMAC’s vice president, described energy efficiency as the “hotspot and focus of the global aviation sector”.

Dong Yang Wu, vice president of Boeing Research & Technology in China, said ”We are excited about opportunities to partner with world-class research capabilities in China in ways that will accelerate the global push for renewable jet fuels and support commercial aviation’s growth while reducing its environmental footprint”.

The latter of these goals will be a challenge. The Civil Aviation Administration of China expects that airline passenger numbers in China will surpass 300 million this year, and rise to around 1.5 billion passengers in 2030. Last year the Chinese government announced it would be building a further 56 airports within five years.

That represents a fast-growing market which Boeing is no doubt keen to position itself in, but it also represents a lot more carbon in the atmosphere.

And recent events suggest that China’s airlines are in no hurry to start cutting their carbon footprint, having argued with European regulators for an exemption from new carbon taxes on carriers taking off or landing in the EU, sparking fears of a carbon trade war.

However, according to reports in the Chinese state media, the increased use of biofuels could provide a way for Chinese airlines to avoid having to pay at a portion of the EU’s aviation carbon taxes. Limiting exposure to global oil markets is also doubtless an additional incentive, after rising fuel costs dented Chinese carriers’ profits in the first half of this year.

In February the Civil Aviation Authority said they expected 30% of China’s jet fuel to come from biofuels by 2020.

Boeing and COMAC aren’t the first to spot the aviation biofuels opportunity. European airlines have already run flights using cooking oil-derived fuel. Earlier in the month, Sinopec Group, China’s biggest oil company, announced it had the capacity to create 20,000 tons of the fuel per year. A drop in the ocean perhaps, but one that looks set to get bigger.

Related reading:
Chinese airlines: big opportunities at home and abroad, FT
China: powered by corn cobs? beyondbrics
China: the next must-have – private jets, beyondbric

Read more »

Aviation biofuels: which airlines are doing what, with whom?

News of airlines doing test flights using a proportion of biofuel seems to have gone a bit quiet this year.  Biofuels Digest has done a round up of what they know about which airlines are linked up with which fuel companies. It appears most of the trial flights used recycled cooking oil, which cannot be a significant component of jet fuel in future as there is just not enough of it.  And the realisation is dawning that biofuels compete with food crops for land, water and nutrients. Also it should be asked why aviation should be the recipient of scarce and precious supplies of the few biofuelsl that are genuinely sustainable, and do not have ILUC (indirect land use change) implications. 



 

Aviation biofuels: which airlines are doing what, with whom?

5.6.2012 (Biofuels Digest)

Azul Airlines announces plans to test Amyris sugarcane-based jet fuel; more than 30 airlines now trialing, deploying biofuels – but who’s doing what, exactly?

In Brazil, Azul Airlines announced that Amyris’s innovative renewable jet fuel sourced from Brazilian sugarcane has passed all required testing and will be used during a demonstration flight on an Azul Embraer 195 aircraft powered by GE’s CF34-10E engines. The “Azul+Verde” (a Greener Blue) flight will take place in Brazil on Tuesday, June 19th, during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Amyris’s renewable jet fuel has been designed to be compliant with Jet A/A-1 fuel specifications and provide equivalent performance versus conventional petroleum-derived fuel in a range of metrics, including fit-for-purpose properties and greenhouse gas emission reduction potential. The feedstock for the renewable jet fuel is sugarcane, a highly desirable biomass that can be produced sustainably in large-scale quantities in Brazil and other tropical countries.

Azul is the third largest airline in Brazil, a low-cost carrier connecting 48 destinations, 47 cities, with over 400 daily flights, and a fleet of 54 aircraft including 42 jets (32 Embraer 195 and 10 Embraer 190s) and 12 turboprops (7 ATR 72-600 and 5 ATR 72-200). To date, Azul has served more than 19 million customers.

The bottom line

It’s a test, but an important one, because this is one of the first fuels supplied directly from an advanced fermentation company – Solazyme has been supplying renewable oils for aviation biofuels, but the upgrading has been done by Honeywell’s UOP.

Further, we’ll watch this one with interest, because it is the first biofuels test-flight to tap the vast potential of sugarcane as an aviation biofuels feedstock.

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Airlines around the world

In today’s Digest, we look at the latest news from airlines around the world – who’s moving on biofuels, and when and how?

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The Americas

United States

Last week, United Airlines, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust announced the formation of the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI), designed to advance aviation biofuel development in a 12-state region holding significant promise for biomass feedstock, technology development, job creation and sustainable commercialization.

Last December, American Airlines said that it expects to begin its first biofuel flights in mid-2012 using a Boeing ecoDemonstrator airplane to complete the flight. Around the same time as the Chapter 11 filing, the company signed agreements with two biojet suppliers as well as a purchase agreement. The airline announced its MOUs for biofuels supply at the CAAFI meeting in DC last week.

In February, Alaska Airlines said its decision to use 20% biofuel during its 75-flight biofuel commercialization program was limited to 20% because of lack of supply. With the fuel produced in Louisiana from used cooking oil, refined in Texas and sourced by a broker the Netherlands, the supply chain was very difficult. Beyond that, it cost $17 per gallon compared to $3.14 per gallon for A1 jet fuel.

Canada

In April, Porter Airlines successfully conducted the first biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada. In the successful conclusion to a test program that was launched in 2010, the airline flew one of its Bombardier Q400 turboprops from its base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Ottawa using a 50/50 blend of biofuel and Jet A1 fuel in one of its engines.
This is the final step in a two-year project whose key members besides Porter included Targeted Growth, Bombardier Aerospace, and Pratt and Whitney Canada, the manufacturer of the PW150A engines that power the Q400 aircraft.

Brazil

In May 2010, ten organizations partnered to form the Brazilian Alliance for Aviation Biofuels (Aliança Brasileira para Biocombustíveis de Aviação – ABRABA) this week at a meeting in Sao Paulo. Founding members include: Algae Biotechnology, Amyris Brazil, the Brazilian Association of Jatropha Producers, the Brazilian Aerospace Industry Association (AIAB), Azul Brazilian Airlines, Embraer, GOL Airlines, TAM Airlines, TRIP Airlines, and the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA).

The objective of the alliance is to promote public and private initiatives that seek to develop and certify sustainable biofuels for aviation. The goal will be achieved through dialogues with those who form public policies, as well as opinion makers, in order to obtain biofuels that are just as safe and cost efficient as petroleum derivatives.

Chile

In March, Netherlands-based SkyNRG supplied LAN Chile and Air BP Copec for its first commercial flight with second generation jet fuel. The flight, which operated between the Chilean cities of Santiago and Concepcion, was conducted on an Airbus from the A320 family with CFM56-5B motors.  The fuel came from used cooking oil.
The flight ended with an event held in the city of Concepcion, which was attended by Government and local authorities, and also by LAN and Air BP Copec executives.

Mexico

Last September, Aeromexico began using a 25 percent biofuel mixture on its flights from Mexico City to San Jose, Costa Rica. As part of the “Green Flights” project designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a Boeing 737 will now fly the route using a mixture of 75% conventional jet fuel and 25% synthetic paraffin biokerosene.
Aeromexico carried out its first transoceanic commercial flight using biofuels last month on the Mexico City-Madrid route.

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Europe, Middle East and Africa

Germany

Last December, Algae.Tec announced that Algae.Tec Ltd and the major European airline Lufthansa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly evaluate the potential for algae oil from Algae.Tec’s bio-reactors to be developed into a sustainable source of aviation biofuels.

In January, Lufthansa had announced that its flight trial from Frankfurt to Washington on Jan. 12 would be its last using renewable jet fuel because it hasn’t been able to secure long-term sources of the biofuel. In all, 1,187 biofuel flights were operated between Hamburg and Frankfurt. According to initial calculations, CO2 emissions were reduced by 1,471 tonnes. Total consumption of the biokerosene mix amounted to 1,556 tonnes. Overall,  Neste and Lufthansa  found that the aircraft and their engines performed excellently. The condition of the combustion chambers, turbines, and fuel systems of their engines was exemplary both during and at the conclusion of the trial. Usage of NExBTL fuel resulted in 1% lower fuel consumption compared to regular fossil jet fuel.

France

In France, Air France completed its first biofuel-powered scheduled passenger flight, running on a 50/50 combination of traditional jet fuel and jet fuel produced from used cooking oil. Together with “optimised” air traffic management (ATM), the flight saved roughly 50% of its CO2 emissions, bringing the per passenger emissions rate down to 54g per kilometer. [No details of how they calculated this].

UK

Last October, Virgin Atlantic said that it has teamed with LanzaTech to create renewable jet fuel that will power planes Shanghai and Delhi to Heathrow within two to three years. LanzaTech is working on producing its fuel in India and China, making those two destinations easy targets for implementation of the ‘green fleet.’  A flight demo with the new fuel is planned in the next 18 months, and the project will also include Boeing during the trial phases.

Within two to three years Virgin Atlantic plans flights with the new fuel on its routes from Shanghai and Delhi to London Heathrow as LanzaTech and partners develop facilities in China and India. The technology is currently being piloted in New Zealand, a larger demonstration facility will be commissioned in Shanghai this year, and the first commercial operation will be in place in China by 2014. Following successful implementation, a wider roll-out could include operations in the UK and the rest of the world.

Last October, Thomson Airways said it would fly passengers from Birmingham to Arrecife, on the Spanish Canary island of Lanzarote, using a combination of used cooking oil and regular jet fuel. The airline had originally hoped to start its biofuel flights last July, but experienced delays with testing and safety clearances. It claims that the use of biofuels could reduce the aviation industry’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent, and plans to use biofuels across its entire fleet within three years.

At the 2011 Paris Air Show, major European stakeholders set a goal of 600 million gallons (2 million metric tons) of annual sustainable biojet production by 2020 under a new program called Biofuel Flightpath. For Flightpath, the European Commission has teamed with Airbus, Lufthansa, Air France/KLM, British Airways and biofuel producers Choren Industries, Neste Oil, Biomass Technology Group and UOP.

Spain

Last October national airline Iberia flew the country’s first commercial flight using a 25% blend of biojet fuel made from camelina. The inaugural flight using an Airbus A320 flew from Madrid to Barcelona. The fuel was produced by UOP LLC, a unit of U.S.-based Honeywell International Inc. and certified by the oil company Repsol YPF SA.

Finland

Last July, Finnair announced plans to operate flights powered by biofuel. The airline operated an Airbus biofuel flight between Amsterdam Schiphol and Helsinki in the week of July 18th, running on a 50% blend of biofuel produced from recycled vegetable oil and kerosene, and was refuelled at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. The biofuel was provided by SkyNRG, a consortium launched by KLM, North Sea Group and Spring Associates to develop a sustainable supply chain for aviation biofuel.

Netherlands

Last June, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines became the first airline in the world to operate a commercial flight carrying 171 passengers on aviation biofuels. Flight KL1233 – a Boeing 737-800 – took off from Schiphol bound for Charles de Gaulle in Paris carrying 171 passengers. KLM’s first commercial flight to Paris was operated on biokerosene produced from used cooking oil. This same raw material will be used in the flights scheduled for September. The fuel was supplied by Dynamic Fuels via SkyNRG, the consortium co-founded by KLM in 2009 with the North Sea Group and Spring Associates.

Qatar

In January, Qatar Airways was reported to be investing in the California firm Byogy Renewables, according to Bloomberg.  Chris Schroeder, a senior manager with QA was quoted as saying, “We’re looking to underwrite an investment into Byogy of up to 10 percent, coupled with an off-take agreement… This will enable the company to go into the market and look for further equity investment or other partners.”  Financial details were not given.

The Emirates

In the United Arab Emirates, Etihad’s delivery acceptance of a new Boeing 777-300ER, flown from Seattle to Abu Dhabi was completed using biofuel – the first such flight to be conducted in the Persian Gulf.  The biofuel was supplied by Holland’s SkyNRG, sourced from recycled vegetable cooking oil.

South Africa

Last November, South African Airlines noted that it may have to use as much as 50% biofuels in its fuel supply by 2020 in order to avoid carbon penalties, which could in turn be the stimulus needed to create a thriving biofuels industry in South Africa and the region. Currently South Africa limits biofuel feedstocks to sorghum, sugar cane, sugar beet and jatropha.

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Asia-Pacific

China

Last year, the China Air Transport Association stated that they oppose having their flights into Europe included in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme.  The ETS requires that all emitters to buy permits for each tonne of CO2 released, above a certain cap.

Japan

In April, Boeing and All Nippon Airways reported that a 787 Dreamliner flew for the first time powered in part by sustainable biofuels.  This was a delivery flight between Boeing’s Delivery Center in Everett, Washington and Tokyo Haneda Airport is also the first ever transpacific biofuel flight, using biofuel made mainly from used cooking oil and emitted an estimated 30% less CO2 emissions when compared to today’s similarly-sized airplanes.

Back in 2009, Japan Air Lines tested camelina, jatropha and algae-based biofuels in a 747-300 test slight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport, but we haven’t heard much from JAL on biofuels since then. The fuel was processed by UOP, and used in a no-passenger test flight using Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, and used a mixture of 84% camelina, nearly 16% jatropha, and less than 1% algae. The biodiesel was mixed in a B50 blend with conventional jet fuel.

Singapore

From Twitter: Singapore Airlines looks to biofuels as it becomes latest airline to join Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group

Thailand

In March, Thai Airways International launched a workshop jointly with the Ministry of Energy and PTT Public Company to focus on aviation biofuels, as a first step in the country’s effort to develop this sector.

Last year, Thai Airways announced plans to power a commercial passenger flight using only biofuel. Commercial flights were planned to begin on December 22 for the Bangkok to Chiang Mai route.The biofuel-powered flight supports the company’s Travel Green initiative as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility activities. The first flight on December 21 will use a Boeing 777-200 plane.

India

In March, Indian Oil announced that it is working with AirbusKingfisher Airlineand UOP to conduct biofuel test flights.  Indian Oil, a state run corporation has signed pacts with Canadian universities and Pratt & Whitney to further their ambitions to join the growing group of countries pursuing bio-avjet.

Indonesia

Back in 2010, Garuda Indonesia exec Wendy Aritonang confirmed to the Jakarta Globe that “We are in the process of changing from [aviation fuel] to biofuel. Not a single [domestic] airline has done it yet. We will be implementing this plan in stages and it will not necessarily be achieved within this year.” The airline signed an MOU in February with the International Air Transport Association, committing to improving air travel services as well as to using biofuel.

We haven’t heard any advancement of the Garuda plans since then.

Australia

In April, Qantas launched Australia’s first commercial biofuels flight from Sydney to Adelaide using a 50/50 blend of cooking-oil derived jet fuel.

Qantas is operating under the AUS$500,000 Emerging Renewables Program grant, which enables Qantas to partner with Shell Australia for a feasibility study of long-term aviation biofuels. Other airlines in the country such as Virgin Australia are also working on aviation biofuels programs.

New Zealand

Last December, Air New Zealand announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Licella Pty Ltd to examine the development and commercialisation of a process to convert woody biomass into sustainable biofuel in New Zealand. Under the MOU Air New Zealand and Licella will jointly explore the potential of the technology to produce sustainable aviation biofuel in New Zealand.

 

http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2012/06/05/aviation-biofuels-which-airlines-are-doing-what-with-whom/

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USDA Partners with GE Aviation for Biojet Fuel

3.7.2012 (The BioEnergy site)

US – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has joined forces with jet engine producer General Electric (GE) Aviation, in addition to the Ohio Aerospace Institute, air carriers and producer groups, to produce renewable jet fuel from agricultural products.

The biojet will be provided at GE Aviation’s Cincinnati, Ohio-based facilities and GE Aviation plans to buy around five million gallons of the biojet, starting in 2015.

“We have an incredible opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and drive economic development in rural communities across America by developing innovative ways to use agricultural products to help reduce our reliance on foreign oil,” said Secretary Vilsack.

“USDA’s collaboration with General Electric Aviation will bring together multiple sectors of Ohio’s economy, including agricultural producers, to foster new innovations in the field of renewable fuels while bolstering new economic opportunities in the Midwest. USDA is proud to work alongside private and public institutions to support the research, creation and distribution of next generation energy solutions.”

USDA recently awarded a Value Added Producer Grant to the Ohio Soybean Council to help initiate a pilot project through Ohio State University’s Bioproducts Innovation Center to refine bio-jet fuel from soybean oil produced by farmer-owners of Ohio’s Mercer Landmark cooperative in western Ohio.

Renewable-jet fuel produced from various plant oils (e.g. camelina, pennycress, inedible corn oil, algae) has been certified by the American Society of Testing and Materials for aviation use, and is currently being used in limited commercial service. Such a pilot project could provide the basis for commercialising renewable-jet fuel production for future aviation purchases.

http://www.thebioenergysite.com/news/11267/usda-partners-with-ge-aviation-for-biojet-fuel

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Solena partnership with BA to produce jet fuel from London municipal waste – delayed over 2 years?

Date added: September 10, 2012

In 2010 it was announced that Solena and BA would build a plant to produce jet fuel in London. Solena hoped the new aviation fuel would be produced from several types of waste materials destined for landfill. The airline said it plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014. In 2010 they said the self-contained plant will likely be built in east London. It’s expected to convert 551,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel each year. However, the timetable has slipped. Little news can be found about it, and there is no planning application yet. IOne website said the project will start in 2nd quarter of 2014 and end 2nd quarter 2016. March Oxford Catalysts were selected to supply the modular Fischer-Tropsch technology . There has been no planning application yet at Rainham Marshes. The timetable seems to have slipped by at least 27 months.   Click here to view full story…

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Aviation industry presses for biofuels support

Published 10 July 2012, updated  22 August 2012 ( Euractiv )

SPECIAL REPORT / Under pressure to cut carbon emissions, the aviation industry is urging policymakers to support the development of biofuels for aircraft in the same way they have done for road transport. EurActiv reports from the Farnborough Airshow.

Biofuels were cleared for aviation use in June 2011 so long as they are blended with traditional jet fuel, and their use remains a novelty due to limited supply and high cost.

Industry officials are urging governments to help lift supplies, much as policies in the EU and United States have created a flourishing market in plant-based oils for cars and lorries. The industry contends that sustainable fuels – when combined with aerodynamic design, efficient engines and improved air traffic handling – will reduce emissions even as passenger traffic grows.

Tony Tyler, director-general of the International Air Transport Association, says the oil derived from plants could reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by up to 80% in the decades ahead.

“They have already powered more than 1,500 commercial flights,” he told the trade group’s recent annual meeting in Beijing. “But to increase utilisation, costs need to come down and the supply needs to increase. That will only happen with government policies to de-risk investment, including setting global standards.”

The Air Transport Action Group, or ATAG, reports that biofuels are expected to account for less than 1% of the industry’s fuel supplies this year, rising to 30% by 2030 and 50% a decade later. The Geneva-based industry organisation, which promotes environmental sustainability, has urged governments to support research, plant development and refining capacity to achieve those targets.

Policies turned upside down

Others in the industry say government policies such as those in the European Union that support biofuels on the ground may be turned upside down.

Alan H. Epstein, vice president for technology and the environment at aircraft engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, says when it comes to curtailing emissions, it makes better sense to have more electric cars and lorries than vehicles burning plant oil.

“The fundamental point is airplanes don’t have an option,” Epstein told EurActiv in an interview in Brussels.

“As Europe becomes greener for power generation, it makes more sense to think about electrification [for transportation],” he said. “In Europe, the automobile trips are shorter, the cars are smaller, so electrification may make even more sense than it does larger parts of North America.”

The industry is so convinced of the merits of biofuels that it used the recent sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro to stage a media event. Raymond Benjamin, who heads the International Civil Aviation Organisation, landed in the Brazilian city on 19 June after having flown from his base in Montréal on airliners using biofuels.

“I am proud to have been able to serve as a symbolic passenger on this ‘Flightpath to a Sustainable Future’,” Benjamin said, adding that bio-fuelled aircraft “are one of the many steps aviation is now taking in that direction.”

A not so soft landing

But not everyone agrees that Benjamin’s flight was sustainable or even a model for the future.

The United Nations Environment Programme warned in a recent report that even though burning plant-based fuels can produce significantly lower levels of carbon emissions, production and land clearing to make way for new crops “may reduce carbon-savings or even lead to an increase.”

Bill Hemmings, who monitors aviation policy in Brussels for the green NGO Transport and Environment, agrees.

Hemmings believes the aviation industry could be falling into the same trap as ground transportation in believing that biofuels are easy on the planet. Greenhouse gases emitted during production, he said, added to concerns over the impact of clearing land and tapping water and other resources needed to sustain fuel plants – especially in developing and emerging nations – may eventually make biofuels more pernicious than traditional fuels.

Such concerns about both direct and indirect impacts from plant cultivation have led Transport and Environment and other environmentalists to press the European Commission to rethink its mandate for 10% biofuel use in ground transport by 2020.

“This huge industry is being built, not on a house of cards, but without a solid foundation and that foundation will shift seismically if indirect land-use change is properly addressed,” Hemmings said in an interview. “So why go and build another aviation mountain which is going to have the foundation shaken once this is sorted out.”

He also disagrees with Tyler and others calling for more government support of biofuels in aviation, noting that the industry already gets big subsidies – such as tax exemptions for aviation fuels – that could fund development of alternatives fuels.

Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe, is also wary of the aviation industry’s call for public support of biofuels when the full impact of production, refining and delivery has not been weighed.

“Our position is that for the moment, we don’t see how the big amounts of biofuels needed for aviation can be produced sustainably,” Stoczkiewicz told EurActiv.

Under pressure

Still, aviation officials say they have to do something, both to meet passenger demand and reduce carbon emissions in an industry that accounts for the biggest growth in greenhouse gases. They say the price for that shift is high – today’s aviation biofuels cost as much as 10 times more than conventional fuels.

Despite the current economic situation, air traffic is expected to double or even triple by 2020 worldwide. The EU wants to cut both carbon dioxide emissions – through itscontroversial Emissions Trading System – as well as improvements in air traffic management. Globally, international airline associations, airports, navigation service providers and manufacturers have agreed to improve fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% per year and halve emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels.

Concerns about energy supply and price vulnerability are other motivators – for instance, the 2011 revolution in Libya sent oil prices soaring despite weakened global demand. An EU-US-backed oil embargo on Iran also could disrupt supplies.

Airlines are already taking steps to cut weight and improve efficiency. Each generation of aircraft being produced by leading manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing are more aerodynamic, lighter and more durable. On the ground, efforts to cut taxi time and delays at the gate save fuel and reduce emissions.

Meanwhile, industry figures show that new engine technology that is just coming onto the market is 16% more efficient than those in use today.

But Hemmings says all this is expensive and by calling for more attention to aviation biofuels, the industry is buying time.

“Everyone is led to believe that there is a tonne of biofuels that will save the world just around the corner, and why go to all this dreadful trouble of [having] to do something else like emissions trading and produce more fuel-efficient aircraft,” he said.

“So a lot of it seems to be about that, and that gets up my nose, it’s fair enough to say.”

POSITIONS:

More efficient engines, aircraft and air traffic management can lower aviation fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions, Randy TinsethBoeing’svice president for marketing, said in Brussels on 6 July. But over the long run, “We have to have biofuels to achieve reductions.”

Following a pan-American flight using a streamlined air traffic management system and on board aircraft partly powered by biofuels, Airbus President Frabrice Brégier said: “To make this a day-to-day commercial reality, it requires now a political will to foster incentives to scale up the use of sustainable biofuels and accelerate modernisation of the air-traffic control management system. We need a clear endorsement by governments and all aviation stakeholders to venture beyond today’s limitations.”

Timothy Spence
—-
EXTERNAL LINKS

European Union

International organisations

Industry and trade associations

Business and industry

NGOs

http://www.euractiv.com/specialreport-greening-aviation/aviation-industry-presses-biofue-news-513771

Read more »

Solena partnership with BA to produce jet fuel from London municipal waste – delayed over 2 years?

In 2010 it was announced that Solena and BA would build a plant to produce jet fuel in London. Solena hoped the new aviation fuel would be produced from several types of waste materials destined for landfill. The airline said it plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet beginning in 2014. In 2010 they said the self-contained plant will likely be built in east London. It’s expected to convert 551,000 tons of waste into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel each year. However, the timetable has slipped. There is no planning application yet.  It seems they hope for “notice to proceed” in 2013.  One website said the project will start in 2nd quarter of 2014 and end 2nd quarter 2016.  Oxford Catalysts were selected to supply the modular Fischer-Tropsch technology . There has been no planning application yet at Rainham Marshes. The timetable seems to have slipped by at least 27 months.



 

There appears to have been a flurry of industry press reports in July announcing that Oxford Catalysts had been selected as the supplier of modular Fischer-Tropsch technology for the project. And other reports stating that the site and funding were in place (but no other
confirmation of where the site may be.)

RSPB did some checking that the relevant local authorities had heard
nothing about using Rainham Marshes earlier in the year………

Interesting that between November 2011 and July 2012 the project dates
had slipped by 27 months.

Very non-informative article about Solena/British Airways at
http://www.  http://www.oxfordcatalysts.com/financial/fa/ocgfa20120703.php
No indication even of a planning application for it. 3.7.2012
The link about the Solena /British Airways jet fuel plant (perhaps at Rainham Marshes) is at a link that no longer works – whatever it was has been removed.  from this page     http://sgibiopower.com/index.php?q=node/29  Said Start Q2/14. Completion Q2/16.
26.7.12
It was only  updated on 27th July this year, but already removed.
If you look at the news page of SGI biopower – which is where the Solena press release would have been, http://sgibiopower.com/news   they do not seem to have had any news since May 2011.
If the Solena/BA project, it says in this report http://www.solenafuels.com/sites/default/files/Hi%20Life%20Green%20Page%20-%20August%202012.pdf  (Feb 2011)  that they “hope to receive fuel derived from everyday waste, from 2015″.
But this (July 2011)  http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2011/07/05/solena-fuels-sets-biojet-facility-construction-plan-in-motion/  (detail has been removed) says:
“In California, Solena Fuels expects to put in its planning application with the City of Gilroy for construction of its first biojet facility sometime within the coming year. The company says it still has a lot of development work to do on details and consultations with the community before it asks for permission to build the 16 million gallon per year, $350 million facility.”
There has not been any planning application at Rainham (September 2012)
Seems there has been little about aviation and biofuels in recent months during 2012. The aviation industry seem to realise it is a non starter, and biofuels would be better used – if at all – for terrestrial uses.  Why should aviation get such a precious and hard won resource?
.

.
The Oxford Catalysts interim results announcement confirms :

In July, the Group announced that it had been selected by Solena Fuels
Corporation (“Solena”) to supply their GreenSky London waste-biomass
to jet fuel project, whose leading partner is British Airways.
GreenSky London has been established to create Europe’s first
commercial scale sustainable jet fuel facility. After a formal
evaluation of available technologies performed by Fluor Corporation on
behalf of Solena, the Group was selected by Solena as the sole
supplier of FT technology for GreenSky London. Successful
implementation of the GreenSky London project and receipt of the
notice to proceed (expected in 2013) will generate revenues to the
Group in excess of $30 million (during the construction phase to
2015), and additional ongoing revenues of more than $50 million over
the first fifteen years of the plant’s operation.

In addition, Solena has entered into a term sheet with the Group
(subject to conclusion of a detailed master license agreement) for the
supply of FT units to its future Biomass-to-Liquids (“BTL”) projects
with many of the world’s leading airlines and shipping companies,
including GreenSky California, Rome and Stockholm. Solena recently
announced that it is working with Lufthansa towards a long-term
bankable jet fuel offtake agreement for a commercial BTL plant to be
constructed in Berlin, Germany, at a site identified by Solena.
According to the Group’s agreement with Solena and currently expected
capacity of the plant, receipt of the order and successful
implementation of the Berlin project would generate revenues to
the Group similar in size to those expected from the GreenSky London
project. Whilst there is no firm date at this stage, construction is
expected to begin in a few years time.

http://www.oxfordcatalysts.com/financial/fr/fr20120921_interim_results_2012.pdf


.
 See earlier:

Is the Solena / British Airways plan for jetfuel from London domestic waste greenwash?

Damian Carrington, of the Guardian, discusses the potential benefits of the plant in East London that is to be built by 2015 by Solena, to turn London’s household waste into jet fuel. It will also produce some electricity.  British Airways is pushing ahead with a plant that aims to turn half a million tonnes of Londoner’s household rubbish into 50,000 tonnes a year of jet fuel. Damian says: ” I’ll let you decide if this is greenwash or not: here’s some of the details.” BA’s Jonathan Counsel says ”We accept we are a significant source of emissions, and growing,” he says. “Taking action is about earning our right to grow.” Boeing says the industry wants to get 1% biofuel into the global jet fuel supply by 2015,  which equates to 600m US gallons a year. And more if it can.  Why should this household waste go to aviation fuel, rather than energy for other uses?

by Damian Carrington

16 March 2012   (Guardian)

(Someone commented on this article that – as the location of the  plant is still unknown – “One of the construction mags indicated that it was “Rainham Marshes” and I gather there is already a convenient Veolia landfill site there on the Thames shore.” ??

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1539  including earlier news on Solena / BA.

 

Read more »

Aviation industry presses for biofuels support from governments

Under pressure to cut CO2 the aviation industry is urging policymakers to support the development of biofuels for aircraft but their use remains a novelty due to limited supply and high cost. Industry officials are urging governments to help lift supplies,  IATA hopes they airlines can in future use biofuels and so get an (utterly unrealistic) drop in CO2 emissions of 80%. IATA wants government policies to de-risk investment, and provide subsidies to support research, plant development and refining capacity. The industry wants to use 30% biofuels by 2030 and 50% by 2040. Aviation wants road vehicles to use electricity, so they can use the liquid oils.  UNEP realises that plant based biofuels may not reduce carbon emissions or even lead to an increase. T&E says aviation could be falling into the same trap as ground transportation in believing that biofuels are easy on the planet.  Biofuels, through their life cycle, may be more pernicious than traditional fuels.


 

Aviation industry presses for biofuels support

Published 10 July 2012, updated  22 August 2012 ( Euractiv )

SPECIAL REPORT /

Under pressure to cut carbon emissions, the aviation industry is urging policymakers to support the development of biofuels for aircraft in the same way they have done for road transport. EurActiv reports from the Farnborough Airshow.

Biofuels were cleared for aviation use in June 2011 so long as they are blended with traditional jet fuel, and their use remains a novelty due to limited supply and high cost.

Industry officials are urging governments to help lift supplies, much as policies in the EU and United States have created a flourishing market in plant-based oils for cars and lorries. The industry contends that sustainable fuels – when combined with aerodynamic design, efficient engines and improved air traffic handling – will reduce emissions even as passenger traffic grows.

Tony Tyler, director-general of the International Air Transport Association, says the oil derived from plants could reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by up to 80% in the decades ahead.

“They have already powered more than 1,500 commercial flights,” he told the trade group’s recent annual meeting in Beijing. “But to increase utilisation, costs need to come down and the supply needs to increase. That will only happen with government policies to de-risk investment, including setting global standards.”

The Air Transport Action Group, or ATAG, reports that biofuels are expected to account for less than 1% of the industry’s fuel supplies this year, rising to 30% by 2030 and 50% a decade later. The Geneva-based industry organisation, which promotes environmental sustainability, has urged governments to support research, plant development and refining capacity to achieve those targets.

Policies turned upside down

Others in the industry say government policies such as those in the European Union that support biofuels on the ground may be turned upside down.

Alan H. Epstein, vice president for technology and the environment at aircraft engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, says when it comes to curtailing emissions, it makes better sense to have more electric cars and lorries than vehicles burning plant oil.

“The fundamental point is airplanes don’t have an option,” Epstein told EurActiv in an interview in Brussels.

“As Europe becomes greener for power generation, it makes more sense to think about electrification [for transportation],” he said. “In Europe, the automobile trips are shorter, the cars are smaller, so electrification may make even more sense than it does larger parts of North America.”

The industry is so convinced of the merits of biofuels that it used the recent sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro to stage a media event. Raymond Benjamin, who heads the International Civil Aviation Organisation, landed in the Brazilian city on 19 June after having flown from his base in Montréal on airliners using biofuels.

“I am proud to have been able to serve as a symbolic passenger on this ‘Flightpath to a Sustainable Future’,” Benjamin said, adding that bio-fuelled aircraft “are one of the many steps aviation is now taking in that direction.”

A not so soft landing

But not everyone agrees that Benjamin’s flight was sustainable or even a model for the future.

The United Nations Environment Programme warned in a recent report that even though burning plant-based fuels can produce significantly lower levels of carbon emissions, production and land clearing to make way for new crops “may reduce carbon-savings or even lead to an increase.”

Bill Hemmings, who monitors aviation policy in Brussels for the green NGO Transport and Environment, agrees.

Hemmings believes the aviation industry could be falling into the same trap as ground transportation in believing that biofuels are easy on the planet. Greenhouse gases emitted during production, he said, added to concerns over the impact of clearing land and tapping water and other resources needed to sustain fuel plants – especially in developing and emerging nations – may eventually make biofuels more pernicious than traditional fuels.

Such concerns about both direct and indirect impacts from plant cultivation have led Transport and Environment and other environmentalists to press the European Commission to rethink its mandate for 10% biofuel use in ground transport by 2020. (see article below).

“This huge industry is being built, not on a house of cards, but without a solid foundation and that foundation will shift seismically if indirect land-use change is properly addressed,” Hemmings said in an interview. “So why go and build another aviation mountain which is going to have the foundation shaken once this is sorted out.”

He also disagrees with Tyler and others calling for more government support of biofuels in aviation, noting that the industry already gets big subsidies – such as tax exemptions for aviation fuels – that could fund development of alternatives fuels.

Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe, is also wary of the aviation industry’s call for public support of biofuels when the full impact of production, refining and delivery has not been weighed.

“Our position is that for the moment, we don’t see how the big amounts of biofuels needed for aviation can be produced sustainably,” Stoczkiewicz told EurActiv.

 

Under pressure

Still, aviation officials say they have to do something, both to meet passenger demand and reduce carbon emissions in an industry that accounts for the biggest growth in greenhouse gases. They say the price for that shift is high – today’s aviation biofuels cost as much as 10 times more than conventional fuels.

Despite the current economic situation, air traffic is expected to double or even triple by 2020 worldwide. The EU wants to cut both carbon dioxide emissions – through itscontroversial Emissions Trading System – as well as improvements in air traffic management. Globally, international airline associations, airports, navigation service providers and manufacturers have agreed to improve fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% per year and halve emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels.

Concerns about energy supply and price vulnerability are other motivators – for instance, the 2011 revolution in Libya sent oil prices soaring despite weakened global demand. An EU-US-backed oil embargo on Iran also could disrupt supplies.

Airlines are already taking steps to cut weight and improve efficiency. Each generation of aircraft being produced by leading manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing are more aerodynamic, lighter and more durable. On the ground, efforts to cut taxi time and delays at the gate save fuel and reduce emissions.

Meanwhile, industry figures show that new engine technology that is just coming onto the market is 16% more efficient than those in use today.

But Hemmings says all this is expensive and by calling for more attention to aviation biofuels, the industry is buying time.

“Everyone is led to believe that there is a tonne of biofuels that will save the world just around the corner, and why go to all this dreadful trouble of [having] to do something else like emissions trading and produce more fuel-efficient aircraft,” he said.

“So a lot of it seems to be about that, and that gets up my nose, it’s fair enough to say.”

POSITIONS:

More efficient engines, aircraft and air traffic management can lower aviation fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions, Randy TinsethBoeing’s vice president for marketing, said in Brussels on 6 July. But over the long run, “We have to have biofuels to achieve reductions.”

Following a pan-American flight using a streamlined air traffic management system and on board aircraft partly powered by biofuels, Airbus President Frabrice Brégier said: “To make this a day-to-day commercial reality, it requires now a political will to foster incentives to scale up the use of sustainable biofuels and accelerate modernisation of the air-traffic control management system. We need a clear endorsement by governments and all aviation stakeholders to venture beyond today’s limitations.”

Timothy Spence
—-
EXTERNAL LINKS

European Union

International organisations

Industry and trade associations

Business and industry

NGOs

http://www.euractiv.com/specialreport-greening-aviation/aviation-industry-presses-biofue-news-513771

 .


.

 

Exclusive: EU to limit use of crop-based biofuels – draft law

BRUSSELS

Sep 10, 2012

(Reuters) – The European Union will impose a limit on the use of crop-based biofuels over fears they are less climate-friendly than initially thought and compete with food production, draft EU legislation seen by Reuters showed.

The draft rules, which will need the approval of EU governments and lawmakers, represent a major shift in Europe’s much-criticized biofuel policy and a tacit admission by policymakers that the EU’s 2020 biofuel target was flawed from the outset.

The plans also include a promise to end all public subsidies for crop-based biofuels after the current legislation expires in 2020, effectively ensuring the decline of a European sector now estimated to be worth 17 billion euros ($21.7 billion) a year.

“The (European) Commission is of the view that in the period after 2020, biofuels should only be subsidized if they lead to substantial greenhouse gas savings… and are not produced from crops used for food and feed,” the draft said.

A Commission spokeswoman said the EU executive would not comment on the details of leaked proposals.

The policy u-turn comes after EU scientific studies cast doubt on the emissions savings from by crop-based fuels, and following a poor harvest in key grain growing regions that pushed up prices and revived fears of food shortages.

Under the proposals, the use of biofuels made from crops such as rapeseed and wheat would be limited to 5 percent of total energy consumption in the EU transport sector in 2020.

Crop-based fuel consumption currently accounts for about 4.5 percent of total EU transport fuel demand, according to the latest national figures for 2011, ensuring that there will be little room to increase current production volumes.

Such a limit will throw into doubt the EU’s binding target to source 10 percent of road transport fuels from renewable sources by the end of the decade, the vast majority of which was expected to come from crop-based biofuels.

In an attempt to make up the shortfall, the European Commission wants to increase the share of advanced non-land using biofuels made from household waste and algae in the EU’s 10 percent target.

“It is appropriate to encourage greater production of such advanced biofuels as these are currently not commercially available in large quantities, in part due to competition for public subsidies with now established food crop based biofuels,” the draft legislation said.

The Commission has proposed that the use of such advanced fuels should be quadruple-counted within the EU’s 10 percent target, in an attempt to at least meet it on paper.

But with commercial production volumes expected to remain low up to 2020, it is doubtful whether the goal can be met.

BIODIESEL BLOW

The proposals are contained in long-awaited EU plans to address the indirect land use change (ILUC) impact of biofuels, a subject that has split officials, biofuel producers and scientists, delaying legislative proposal for almost two years.

ILUC is a theory that states that by diverting food crops into fuel tanks, biofuel production increases overall global demand for agricultural land. If farmers meet that extra demand by cutting down rainforest and draining peatland, it results in millions of tonnes of additional carbon emissions.

The draft law includes new ILUC emissions values for the three major crop types used to produce biofuels: cereals, sugars and oilseeds. These values must be included when calculating emissions savings from biofuels under an EU fuel quality law designed to encourage fuel suppliers to cut emissions from road transport fuels by 6 percent by 2020.

While low values for ethanol made from cereals and sugars are expected to have little market impact, a much higher value for oilseeds is likely to exclude most biodiesel made from rapeseed, soybeans and palm oil from counting towards the fuel suppliers’ targets.

The Commission says its proposal will protect existing investments until 2020, but biodiesel producers fear that by removing any incentive for fuel companies to use biodiesel, it will put the future of the entire sector in doubt.

“Three years after the EU made biofuels a central plank of its policy to promote renewable energies in transport, the Commission’s current proposal threatens an industry that arose as a response to its policies, supports 50,000 jobs and would have provided the next generation of biofuel technologies,” said Jean-Philippe Puig, CEO of Sofiproteol, which owns the EU’s largest biodiesel producer.

Environmental campaigners welcomed the proposal to limit the use of crop-based fuels, but said the plans should have gone further.

“The good news is that this proposal, if adopted, would stop further expansion of current types of unsustainable biofuels, which is an important step. But the bad news is that it fails to do anything about the current volumes of these fuels,” said Nusa Urbancic, clean fuels campaigner for green transport lobby T&E.

If confirmed, the rules are expected to boost European consumption of ethanol, which currently accounts for just over 20 percent of the EU biofuel market, compared with biodiesel’s 78 percent share.

But with diesel cars accounting for about 60 percent of Europe’s fleet and rising, it is unlikely that increased ethanol consumption will be able to completely offset the likely decline in biodiesel consumption.

The International Council on Clean Transportation has predicted that any emissions savings from the EU’s biofuel policy are likely to come from ethanol, while crop-based biodiesel has a worse carbon footprint than normal diesel. ($1 = 0.7821 euros)

(Editing by Rex Merrifield and James Jukwey)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/us-eu-biofuels-idUSBRE8890SJ20120910

 

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Read more »

Canada (of the tar sands) greenwash: 10% used cooking oil used to fly its athletes to Olympics

Canadian Olympic team members travelled from Montreal on an Air Canada Airbus A330. 20% of the fuel used to power the Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered engines contained a 50/50 blend of conventional jet kerosene mixed with recycled cooking oil supplied by Dutch company SkyNRG. Last month, Air Canada conducted its first biofuel flight between Toronto and Mexico City as part of a series of commercial biofuel flights. The airlines hopes this tiny biofuel contribution will slightly reduce their athletes’ carbon footprint. Air Canada is also using conventional ways to cut fuel use, like single engine taxiing, reduced thrust take offs, and continuous descent. This is the same Canada that pulled out of the Kyoto protocol, due to its massive carbon emissions from shale oil.

 

Canadian athletes power their way to the London Olympics on jet biofuel

27.7.2012 (GreenAir online)

Canadian team members bound for the London 2012 Olympic Games have travelled from Montreal on an Air Canada biofuel-powered flight of an Airbus A330. Twenty per cent of the fuel used to power the Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered engines contained a 50/50 blend of conventional jet kerosene mixed with recycled cooking oil supplied by Dutch company SkyNRG. [This is nonsense, as there is nowhere like enough used cooking oil to make any sort of significant difference to aviation - most used cooking oil is already taken for terrestrial uses. Used cooking oil is likely to be a genuinely sustainable fuel.  There just is not enough of it, to get the aviation industry out of its difficulties.  It is  for token gesture flights only, for PR purposes].

Last month, Air Canada conducted its first biofuel flight between Toronto and Mexico City (link )as part of a series of commercial biofuel flights that took the ICAO Secretary-General to the Rio+20 sustainable development summit in Rio de Janeiro. The organisers of the London Games, which formally open today, have promised them to be the most sustainable ever.

“As the Official Airline of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Air Canada is proud to be flying Canadian athletes to London. Just as our athletes strive for excellence in their athletic performance, Air Canada strives for excellence in its environmental performance,” said the airline’s Senior Vice President Operations, Dave Legge, before the departure of Tuesday’s (July 24) flight AC864. “Today, we will be flying some of Canada’s best athletes in the best environmental way – using biofuel to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Commenting on the world’s first transatlantic biofuel flight using an A330, Airbus Vice President Environmental Affairs Andrea Debbané said: “Like the sports star on board, we too have goals. More than 90% of Airbus Research and Technology is directed at setting new records in environmental performance, including speeding up sustainable alternative fuel production and keeping the world connected.”

Air Canada is implementing other techniques and measures to reduce its environmental impact, including engine washing to increase efficiency, minimising APU use on the ground, single-engine taxiing, reduced thrust take-offs, optimised climbs and cruise speed and altitude, and constant descents.

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=1575


 

 

Air Canada Is The Latest Airline To Conduct Biofuel Flight

6/19/2012 ( Huffington Post)

Air Canada Biofuel

Air Canada is the latest airline to hop on the green travel bandwagon by conducting its first flight with sustainable fuel.

Flight AC991 took off from Toronto en route to Mexico City Monday, and,according to a press release, the flight will generate 40 percent fewer emissions thanks to the fuel and other fuel-saving measures. It’s part of an environmental demonstration by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to coincide with the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

“Air Canada fully accepts its responsibility to reduce its footprint and our first flight using biofuel tangibly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the environment,” said Duncan Dee, executive vice president and chief operating officer, in the press release. “Since 1990 our airline has become 30 per cent more fuel efficient and we are determined to increase these gains through cutting-edge measures.”

The flight was powered by a 50-50 blend of regular jet fuel and that derived from used cooking oil. The blend was produced by SkyNRG, which has served other major carriers.

When Thomson Airways launched its biofuel flights in October 2011, they were powered by fuel from Dutch-based SkyNRG. KLM and Finnair did the same last summer.

Also in October, Virgin Atlantic announced it would be developing a low-carbon aviation fuel with New Zealand-based LanzaTech. And, in November, Qantas revealed its agreements with two manufacturers of alternative airplane fuels to develop algae-based and water-based jet fuels.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/air-canada-biofuel-flight_n_1608288.html

 

 


 

Canada wins legal battle to pull out of Kyoto Protocol

 26 July 2012

The conservative Canadian government has won its case in the Canadian Federal Court over its decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Canada first announced its plans to withdraw from the international greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment at the United Nations’ climate summit in South Africa last December.

The decision has been contested by a Quebec politician Daniel Turp, who argued that the government needed the approval of the Canadian Parliament first.

But the Canadian Federal Court has ruled that the government has a “royal prerogative” to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol without consultation.

The Parliament should have passed a law to force the government to consult on the ratification or withdrawal from treaties, said the Court.

For further information:
www.canada.gc.ca/home.html

Related stories:
Green groups criticise Canada’s decision to drop out of Kyoto Protocol (14-Dec)

http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/articles/i/5292/?cid=5

 


 

 

Canada May Miss $6.7 Billion Carbon Offset Bill By Exiting Kyoto Protocol

By Jeremy van Loon - 
Dec 2, 2011
Canada, the country furthest from meeting its commitment to cut carbon emissions under theKyoto Protocol, may save as much as $6.7 billion by exiting the global climate change agreement and not paying for offset credits.

The country’s greenhouse-gas emissions are almost a third higher than 1990 levels, and it has a 6 percent CO2 reduction target for the end of 2012. If it couldn’t meet its goal, Canada would have to buy carbon credits, under the rules of the legally binding treaty.

Suncor, Canada’s largest oil-sands producer

Suncor, Canada’s largest oil-sands producer, runs this facility north of Fort McMurray. Kevin Cooley/Bloomberg Markets via Bloomberg

Canada, which has the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, would be the first of 191 signatories to the Kyoto Protocol to annul its emission-reduction obligations. While Environment Minister Peter Kent declined to confirm Nov. 28 that Canada is preparing to pull out of Kyoto, which may ease the burden for oil-sands producers and coal-burning utilities, he said the government wouldn’t make further commitments to it.

“Canada is the only country in the world saying it won’t honor Kyoto,” said Keith Stewart, an energy and climate policy analyst for Greenpeace in Toronto. Under a previous Liberal government, Canada was one of the first countries to sign Kyoto in 1998. The current Conservative government made a non-binding commitment at 2009 United Nations talks in Copenhagen to reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, in line with a pledge by the U.S., its biggest trading partner.

The biggest polluters in the nation of 34 million say they’ll cut emissions without a treaty. “Kyoto no longer works,” said Rick George, chief executive officer of Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), Canada’s largest oil producer. “Whatever happens with Kyoto won’t change our direction” of reducing the environmental impact of oil production, he said.

Impact From Technology

For Suncor and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., technology improvements will have a bigger impact on Canada’s greenhouse gas output than an international climate-change treaty, said Jack Mintz, director of the school of public policy at the University of Calgary.

“Technology is the only way we’re going to make significant progress,” Mintz said in an interview. “A lot of companies are already anticipating that the federal government will look at new regulations. Kyoto hasn’t been a strong treaty.”

Canada would likely avoid penalties if it exits the treaty before the end of the year, said Matt Horne, climate change policy director at the Pembina Institute, a Canadian think-tank focused on sustainable energy. Kyoto’s first commitment period from 2008 until 2012 requires reductions only from so-called Annex I countries, the world’s wealthiest and most developed. It doesn’t include developing nations including India and China, the world’s biggest CO2 emitter.

Reputation Tarnished

“Penalties apply in the second commitment period,” said Horne. “More importantly though, Canada’s international reputation will be tarnished.”

The $6.7 billion cost of complying with Kyoto compares with an estimated C$75.9 billion ($74.8 billion) in combined budget deficits projected through the fiscal year ending March 2015. By rejecting the accord, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is putting the country’s economy at risk, Elizabeth May, leader of Canada’s Green Party, said in an interview.

“We’re condemning ourselves to rising costs from extreme weather events as well as opportunity costs like the failure to have a renewable-energy industry,” she said. “The world would be grateful for Canada to be constructive instead of the government consistently repudiating Kyoto.”

Durban Talks

Canadian delegates, including Kent, are in Durban, South Africa for United Nations climate talks. Negotiators are struggling to agree to a successor to Kyoto, which expires at the end of 2012 and is also opposed by Japan and Russia.

Negotiators from host South Africa urged Canada on Dec. 1 to reconsider its position about not entering another commitment period, highlighting the risks to the developing world with rising temperatures and sea levels.

“Our government believes that the previous Liberal government signing on to Kyoto was one of the biggest blunders they made,” Kent said Nov. 28. “Kyoto is the past, Copenhagen and Cancun are the future,” he said, referring to the 2009 Copenhagen Accord.

Canada will have likely emitted about 890 million tons of CO2 above its Kyoto target by the end of the first commitment period next year, based on annual emissions data compiled by Bloomberg. Carbon Emission Reduction credits, or CER, cost 5.62 euros ($7.55) a ton on Nov. 30, according to Bloomberg data.

No Policy

Unlike countries such as Germany, Canada has implemented no policy to reach its targets and will find it difficult to reach even the Copenhagen Accord goals, said Greenpeace’s Stewart.

Already 60 percent of the country’s electricity is generated by hydroelectric power plants, which emit fewer gases than coal or natural gas, while the government’s plan to become an energy superpower by exporting crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands means the country faces “steep” increases in emissions in the coming years, Stewart said.

Emissions of carbon from oil sands production has risen to about 6.5 percent of Canada’s total from about 1 percent in 1990, according to the Pembina Institute. That figure will likely double by 2020 as companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Suncor and Royal Dutch Shell Plc expand operations to refine bitumen with annual investments of C$20 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy van Loon in Calgary at jvanloon@bloomberg.net

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New $40 million funding annoucement for development of US military & aviation biofuels from DOE

The USA’s Department of Energy is to provide $40 million in funding for new producers of biofuels for the military and for aviation. They want to fund innovative sources of fuel and pilot and demonstration production of these fuels. “Novel and highly innovative technologies are strongly encouraged” from a wide variety of non-food lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks and algae, from sources within the USA. Use of excess oil production of food-grade oil does not constitute an acceptable feedstock. The aim is not environmental, but to reduce trade imbalances, and improve fuel security. It is estimated that the US transfers approximately $340 billion each year (nearly $1 billion per day) to foreign nations to purchase crude oil and refined products.  

19.6.2012  (Biofuels Digest)

DOE releases its latest $40 million funding opportunity, for aviation and military biofuels; lignocellulosic and algal feedstock components.

In Washington, the DOE released details of a long-awaited funding opportunity announcement for advanced biofuels for aviation and military applications, titled “Innovative Pilot and demonstration-scale production of advanced biofuels.”

According to the DOE, “the intent of this FOA  [?Funding Opportunity Announcement?] is to identify, evaluate, and select innovative pilot- or demonstration-scale integrated biorefineries that can produce hydrocarbon fuels that meet military specifications for JP-5 (jet fuel primarily for the Navy), JP-8 (jet fuel primarily for the Air Force), or F-76 (diesel).”

Deadlines

Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 7/16/2012 5:00 PM ET
Full Application Submission Deadline: 8/13/2012 5:00 PM ET

Integrated biorefineries proposed for this funding opportunity may employ various combinations of feedstocks and conversion technologies to produce a variety of products, but the primary focus must be on producing biofuels.  Novel and highly innovative technologies are strongly encouraged.

Topic Area 1 is focused on lignocellulosic feedstocks or adnaced technology processes for conversion of CO2 (rather than direct conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks), while Topic 2 focuses on algal feedstocks.

Background

The FOA stems from the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding ) signed by the Department of Defense (DoD), USDA, and DOE, for the three agencies to jointly support the design, construction, and operation of integrated biorefineries (IBRs) that produce hydrocarbon-based biofuels from a wide variety of lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks and algae.

In support of this MOU, DOE seeks to use its annual appropriated budget authority to fund innovative IBRs that are: (1) capable of producing hydrocarbon-based advanced biofuels that meet military specifications (2) in geographically diverse locations, with (3) no significant impact on the supply of agricultural commodities for the production of food.

US Energy Security

According to the FOA, “Our dependence on foreign sources of crude oil undermines foreign policy objectives and creates enormous trade imbalances. It is estimated that the United States transfers approximately $340 billion each year1 (nearly $1 billion per day) to foreign nations to purchase crude oil and refined products.  Advanced, biomass-derived transportation fuels that use a domestic, renewable feedstock can provide a secure alternative that reduces the risk associated with our dependence on foreign sources of petroleum.”

Projected Impact

It is anticipated that technologies developed as a result of this funding opportunity will also help to stabilize the cost of transportation for the American consumer, at or near $3 per gallon of gasoline, while improving the environmental impact of transportation fuel use, reducing dependence upon imported petroleum, and increasing U.S. employment in the production of fuels and chemical products from renewable resources.

Scale

For the purpose of this FOA, a pilot-scale integrated biorefinery is defined as a facility with a throughput of no less than one (1) dry tonne of feedstock per day.  A demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery is defined as a facility with a throughput of no less than fifty (50) dry tonnes of feedstock per day. See Section I.C.3 for additional clarification of pilot or demonstration scale as pertains to algae-based technologies.

Geography

The proposed integrated biorefinery project must be located within the United States and use a feedstock from a domestic source.  In lieu of constructing a new facility, the applicant may propose the use of an existing pilot-scale or demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery as appropriate to the Topic Area.

Commercialization

Only those applicants willing and able to diligently pursue taking the integrated technology to the commercial scale and have a sound business and technology strategy to deploy and/or license and market the technology commercially should apply.

Acceptable Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

(A) materials, pre-commercial thinnings, or invasive species from National Forest System land and public lands that are byproducts of preventive treatments that are removed to reduce hazardous fuels;  to reduce or contain disease or insect infestation; or to restore ecosystem health; would not otherwise be used for higher-value products.

(B) organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis from non-Federal land or land belonging to an Indian or Indian tribe that is held in trust by the United States including – renewable plant material, including organic material grown for the purposes of being converted to energy; waste material, including crop residue (including cobs, stover, bagasse and other residues); other vegetative waste material (including wood waste and wood residues);  food waste and yard waste.

Food feedstocks not included

No plant based material that is generally intended for use as food may be used as a feedstock under this FOA. Hence, sugars derived from sugarcane or beets and oils derived from soy, canola, sunflower, peanut, and other such food sources normally recovered using conventional food processing methods are not eligible as feedstocks under this FOA. Use of excess oil production of food-grade oil also does not constitute an acceptable feedstock. Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) is also excluded.

Sorghum grain may be an acceptable feedstock if it meets GHG emissions reductinos requirements.

Post-sortation MSW meets the requirements – for the biomass fraction only.

Acceptable Algal Feedstock

Algae may have a broader role under this FOA than other acceptable feedstocks because they can also act as biocatalysts, accumulate lipids or starch-based carbohydrates, or excrete fuels or fuel intermediates. Therefore, the production of algae using a variety of available cultivation strategies (e.g. open ponds, open oceans, and closed bioreactors supporting phototrophic and/or heterotrophic growth) is allowable under Topic Area 2 only.

For the purpose of this FOA, algal biomass can be grown with either CO2 as the main carbon source (photoautotrophic growth), or with other clean carbohydrate sugars or lignocellulosic-derived carbohydrates (heterotrophic growth), or with both types of carbon sources (mixotrophic growth).

Acceptable algal types, for purposes of this FOA, are defined as cyanobacteria, microalgae, and macroalgae.

For applications proposing heterotrophic algae and proposing to initially use a clean carbohydrate sugar feedstocks stream, the applicant must propose a credible path to the use of lignocellulosic sugars.

For applications proposing use of CO2 as source of carbon for fuels and proposing to initially use a fossil based CO2 stream, the applicant must indicate a significant reduction in GHG as compared to petroleum derived fuels, using an acceptable methodology (see GREET as example) and  propose a credible path to the use of renewable CO2.

Aquatic plants (including but not limited to duckweed and eelgrass) are considered lignocellulosic feedstocks, not algae.

Algal throughput

The minimum throughput for pilot-scale algal based integrated biorefineries, is one (1) dry tonne per day of CO2, or other main carbon source, or mixture of CO2 and an additional carbon source. For demonstration-scale, algal based integrated biorefineries, the minimum throughput is fifty (50) dry tonnes of CO2 per day. See Appendix G for a more detailed discussion of the heterotrophic case.

Acceptable Biofuels

he targeted fuels must be suitable for military operational use and, as such, must be either currently approved or likely to be approved in the future as JP-5, JP-8, or F-76 equivalents.  Ethanol from sugarcane, starch, algae, or lignocellulosic feedstocks is specifically excluded from consideration under this FOA

Biodiesel is excluded; however, the hydro-processing of biodiesel to produce a renewable diesel or a renewable jet fuel, for example, would be an acceptable process/technology under the FOA so long as the resulting fuel was otherwise an “acceptable biofuel”.

Estimated funding

Approximately $20,000,000 is expected to be available for new awards in FY2012 with up to an additional $20,000,000 in FY2013, subject to Congressional appropriations for this program.  DOE anticipates obligating all funds to the projects no later than September 30, 2013.

Maximum and Minimum Award Size

Ceiling of $20 million in DOE cost share; floor of $1 million.

Expected Number of Awards

DOE anticipates making approximately 2-4 awards, with up to 2-3 additional awards in FY2013, subject to Congressional appropriations for this program, under this announcement, depending on the Topic Area and size of awards; an average award of $5-$7 million is anticipated.

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Boeing, Air China and PetroChina aim for 2nd 50% jatropha biofuel flight test in autumn

Boeing in cooperation with Air China and PetroChina, will press ahead with a 2nd test flight that will be partly powered by jatropha. The flight will be in the last quarter of 2012, and be a trans-Pacific trip, far longer than the one-hour test flight that was conducted in China last October. That flight used 50% jatropha based fuel. China wants to produce more jet fuel from jatropha, which it claims can be produced from large areas of “barren land” where it might grow.  The aim of the biofuel flight is to prove that a China-produced biofuel works, and to ensure “regulators and airlines around the world are comfortable using it for commercial flights.” 

 


 

Boeing, PetroChina aim for second biofuel flight test

File photo of an Air China Boeing 747-400 passenger jet, filled with mixture of biofuel and aviation kerosene, on its first test flight at Beijing Captital International Airport in Beijing, October 28, 2011. REUTERS/China Daily

BEIJING |

Jun 12, 2012

(Reuters) – Boeing Co., in cooperation with Air Chinaand PetroChina, will press ahead with a second test flight that will be partly powered by plant oil, company executives said this week.

The test, scheduled for the third quarter of this year, is likely to involve a trans-Pacific trip, far longer than the one-hour test flight that was conducted in China last October, said Stephen Emmert, Boeing’s regional director of the biofuel strategy team for China and North America.

The project aims to prove that a China-produced biofuel works, and to ensure “regulators and airlines around the world are comfortable using it for commercial flights,” he said.

The planned test, like last year’s, will involve use of a biofuel produced by PetroChina  from locally grown jatropha, a thorny green shrub. Jatropha based fuel, produced with oil extracted from seeds, could have particular appeal in China, where there are huge swathes of barren land that could be turned to growing the plant.

“China has a need (for cleaner fuels) like the rest of the world that is very real,” said Marc Allen, head of Boeing’s  China operations, speaking on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association meeting in Beijing this week.

“They have (economic) scale that many parts of the world cannot match. And they have fast growing technological capability that will allow them to be on the forefront on these initiatives.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/12/uk-iata-china-biofuels-idUSLNE85B01J20120612

 


 

Is jatropha a real solution, or does it create more problems?   

Report from Friends of the Earth (Netherlands) and Friends of the Earth (Indonesia) earlier this year found growing of jatropha for Lufthansa, in Java, was causing a lot of problems:

 

New FoE report on jatropha cultivation for aviation biokerosene in Java

 

16.2.2012A new report by Friends of the Earth Netherlands, and Friends of the Earth Indonesia investigates the situation in Java, where jatropha and other crops are being grown to produce biokerosene for Lufthansa’s “Burn Fair” programme.  The report finds that Javanese farmers and workers have converted some of their land from food to fuel crops, in return for ridiculously low payments. They have had a fall in income, conflict and frustration. Indonesian farmers feel the lifeblood of Indonesia will be tapped for the benefit of wealthier people in Europe and elsewhere. Biofuel crops are putting pressure on land for food. The report says this growing of biofuels for aviation fuel is putting a double pressure on the poor in the global south: both in climate change and food prices.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=8153

 

 

 


 

Earlier news on this:

 

Air China test-flies 50% jatropha biofuel-powered Boeing 747

 

An Air China Boeing 747-400 took off from the Beijing airport, flew for 2 hours, and landed back at Beijing. It used 50% jatropha.  This is one of a series of research projects launched last year by the US and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers. The fuel was developed by Boeing, Honeywell UOP, Chinese oil company PetroChina and Air China. They say a commercial biofuel should be available in three to five years. BEIJING  29.10.2011  (Business Week)

A jumbo jet powered by fuel made from oily nuts has made a two-hour test flight
in Beijing as part of a U.S.-Chinese renewable energy partnership.

The fuel for Friday’s flight is one of a series of research projects launched
last year by the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers.

The fuel was developed by Boeing Co., Honewell UOP, Chinese oil company PetroChina
Ltd. and Air China Ltd.

On Friday morning, an Air China Boeing 747-400 took off from the Beijing airport
and flew as officials watched. It landed at the same field.

The companies say such biofuel could be commercially available in three to five
years.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9QL86T00.htm

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Boeing, Chinese companies test-fly biofuel-powered plane

29.10.2011 (Seattle Times)

A Boeing jumbo jet powered by fuel made from oily nuts made a two-hour test flight
Friday as part of a U.S.-Chinese renewable energy partnership partnership…

By The Associated Press

BEIJING — A Boeing jumbo jet powered by fuel made from oily nuts made a two-hour
test flight Friday as part of a U.S.-Chinese renewable energy partnership.

The fuel, based on the oily nuts of the jatropha tree, is one of a series of
research projects launched last year by the United States and China, the world’s
two biggest oil consumers. The two governments say they want the research to reduce
pollution and spur the growth of new industries.

The fuel was developed by Boeing, Honeywell UOP, Chinese oil company PetroChina
and Air China. They say a commercial biofuel should be available in three to five
years.

Government and company officials watched as an Air China Boeing 747-400 powered
by a mix of half biofuel and half standard aviation fuel took off from the Beijing
airport and flew for two hours before landing at the same field.

“This is a very important step. It is a milestone for the Chinese airline industry,”
said He Li, an Air China vice president. “It will help us a lot to reduce carbon
emissions and provide us more choices for aviation fuel.”

Boeing said earlier that the goal of the research is to develop biofuel that
can be used in commercial jetliners with no engine modifications. The company
said last year four test flights with biofuel had been flown in the United States.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2016631700_biofuel29.html?syndication=rss

 


 

 

Boeing to test China jatropha biofuel in Chinese airliner in summer 2011

 

18.10.2010(Chicago Breaking business)

By Dow Jones Newswires-Wall Street Journal

 

Boeing Co., in cooperation with Air China Ltd. and others, plans to test a commercial-jet
biofuel in China produced from a locally grown plant by the middle of 2011-part
of an effort to commercialize cleaner fuels world-wide and bolster China’s potential
as a biofuel provider.

Boeing first tested a biofuel on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 jet in early 2008
in London.   It has since conducted similar tests a few more times, each time experimenting

with different types of biofuels on different engines. The China demonstration flight, expected to be conducted by May or June next year, would be Boeing’s sixth such demonstration flight using a biofuel, said a Boeing executive, Al Bryant, in an interview Monday with The Wall Street
Journal.

The biofuel to be used in the scheduled test flight is one based on jatropha, a thorny wild green shrub that grows well on a wide range of terrains in hot climates such as Latin America and Africa.  It is expected to be supplied by Chinese oil company PetroChina Co., which grows jatropha in southern China for aviation use, said Bryant, vice president
of research and technology at Boeing’s China operations.

“It’s harvested here and processed here, and we test it with an airplane operated
by a Chinese airline and is going to be flown here in China,”
 the executive said. “This flight is going to demonstrate that China has the ability to create a new biofuel industry here in China.”

Analysts say development of biofuels based on feedstocks such as jatropha looks
promising, but commercial mass production, as well as getting regulatory approvals
for the new jet fuel, still will likely take several years, if not more.     Boeing argues the prohibitively expensive cost will come down.

Some pessimists also had pointed out that biofuel would freeze before a jetliner
reached cruising altitude, or that it would require punishingly costly modifications
to the aircraft engines to make it work.

Boeing says its two years of demonstration flights counter those claims. By injecting
similar additives used in petroleum-based fuel, the freezing point of biofuels
has been rendered a nonissue, and engine modifications have proven unnecessary,
Boeing says.

“We’re focused on plant-based sustainable ‘drop-in’ biofuels so that you can
fly to Chengdu, fill up with a biofuel, and fly to Australia somewhere and fill
up with a petroleum-based fuel, and you don’t have to clean the tank or drain
it or anything,” Bryant said, referring to a major city in southwest China.   “No
modifications to the airplane engines would be necessary. It is a drop-in solution.”

Moreover, with fears that the days of petroleum are numbered, the global aviation
industry is more inclined to pursue long-term diversification of its raw materials.
Breakthroughs have also come more quickly than people anticipated.

“If we can do that  - commercialize biofuels for aviation –   that gives our customers
an alternative supply of fuel, and hopefully we could smooth out some of the spikes
in jet fuel prices and allow airline operators to be more financially stable,”
Bryant said.

Boeing envisions a future, he said, where the entire global aviation industry
would be supplied with plant-based biofuels that don’t compete with food for land
and water, so that a rapid adoption of biofuels by the aviation industry doesn’t
drive up food prices.   That future could come as early as 2025, Bryant said.

To realize that vision, Bryant said the industry needs to make a lot of technological
breakthroughs. But one secret weapon, he said, is biofuels based on algae, which have higher levels of energy density.  Boeing is conducting some of its
research-and-development efforts in China in part because the country, Bryant
said, has done some “leading-edge” research in the field.

To accelerate the research and development of such algae-based aviation biofuels,
Boeing earlier this year opened a joint research laboratory in Qingdao with a
Chinese government research institute and is looking at expanding the effort to
other labs.

“You can serve the entire aviation industry’s fuel needs by planting soybeans
in an area the size of continental Europe. Or you could plant algae and get the
same impact in an area the size of the country of Belgium,” Bryant said.

http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2010/10/boeing-to-test-china-biofuel.html

 

 

 


 

.

China to launch first aviation biofuel flight this year

 

Edit this entry.26.5.2010  (Reuters)China will launch its first flight using aviation biofuel this year after signing
an agreement with U.S. aviation giant Boeing in Beijing on Wednesday
At a ceremony after the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting, Boeing
agreed to collaborate on the launch with carrier Air China (0753.HK) and oil major PetroChina (0857.HK), which will provide the jatropha-based fuel feedstock for the project.

Al Bryant, vice-president of Boeing’s research and technology department in China, told reporters the new fuel was expected to be commercially viable within three to five years.

“We believe in three to five years we should see a portion of fuel in commercial
aviation (using biofuel), but a lot has to be done,” he said.

“We’ve proven it can be flown and it is a matter of scaling it up to make it
commercially viable.”

Four test biofuel flights have already been conducted in the United States, and
Bryant said China was now the focus of development because “they have made the
decision to move faster”.

Aviation is responsible for about 2 percent of total global greenhouse emissions,
and the entire industry aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 through the use
of alternative fuels.

China aims to replace at least 15% of total diesel and gasoline consumption with
biofuel by 2020.

It has a number of pilot ethanol fuel projects in the farming belts of central
and northeast China, but it has been wary of traditional processing methods because
of concerns about food security and the impact on grain prices.

After banning the use of corn and edible oil in 2006 and suspending all new licenses
for bioethanol projects in 2007, China is focusing on new-generation variants
processed from agricultural waste, cellulosic materials or hardy but inedible
oil-bearing plants like jatropha.

“The United States relied on corn to produce biofuel but relying on crops has
been criticised, and second-generation biofuels are more significant for China,”
said Zhang Guobao, head of the country’s National Energy Administration.

http://chinadaily.cn/bizchina/2010-05/27/content_9898961.htm

 

 

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