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.
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.