Home' Asian Aviation : AAV October 2011 Contents More flights are set to follow, with UK leisure
airline Thompson Airways planning a Birmingham-
Palma flight using a 50:50 blend of cooking oil and
kerosene, and KLM planning regular scheduled
flights between Amsterdam and Paris using a
biofuel blend. The first biofuel flight of a turboprop
aircraft – using camelina seed oil on a Porter Airlines
Bombardier Q400 – is planned in 2012, in a project
supported by the Canadian Government.
Rigorous testing has shown that biofuels can deliver
equal and even better performance than the current
fuel, but the issue is now to ensure a steady, reliable,
cost-effective and sustainable supply, ATAG says.
The fledgling aviation biofuels industry needs capital
from the investment community and incentives from
governments in order for it to get off the ground and
make it economically viable, says ATAG.
According to the industry group, there are “six easy
steps” to growing a viable aviation biofuels industry.
These are : to foster research into new feedstock
sources and refining processes; to de-risk public and
private investments in aviation biof uels; to provide
incentives for airlines to use biofuels from an early
stage; to encourage stakeholders to commit to robust
international sustainability criteria ; to understand
local green growth opportunities; and to establish
coa litions encompassing all parts of the supply chain.
Collaborative efforts are ongoing worldwide to
develop a global aviation biofuels industry, with many
countries seeing the benefit of de veloping their own,
Australia’s science agency, the Commonwealth
Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
(CSIRO), for example, concluded recently that
establishing an economically and environmentally
beneficial bio -derived aviation fuels industry in
Australia and New Zealand is viable.
The CSIRO predicts that over the next 20 years a
sustainable aviation fuels industry in Australia and
New Zealand could cut greenhouse g as emissions
by 17 percent, g enerate more than 12,000 jobs and
reduce Australia’s reliance on aviation fuel imports by
A$2 billion (US$1.97 billion) per annum.
The ag ency says there is sufficient existing sustainable
biomass in Australia/NZ to support a local industry
to supply 46 percent of total aviation fuel needs of
Australia and New Zealand by 2020 and 100 percent
by 2050. CSIRO outlines a roadmap through to 2020,
including the establishment of the first commercial-
scale, bio -derived jet fuel refining facility in 2015.
Australian airlines are active in biofuel research and
development. Virgin Australia, for example, in July
partnered Renewable Oil, Dynamotive Energ y Systems,
Future Farm Industries Co-operative Research Centre
and GE to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel using fast
pyrolysis te chnology to process mallees – a eucalypt tree
that can be grown sustainably in many parts of Australia.
The partners are finalising plans for a demonstration unit
to be operational next year and a commercial-scale plant
as early as 2014.
Virgin Australia is also involved in an aviation
biofuel research consortium headed by the University
of Queensland and including Boeing and US energ y
Australia’s largest carrier, Qantas, has teamed
with Solazyme to develop a business case for the
introduction of the US company’s a lgal-derived
sustainable fuel technology in Australia, and with
Solena Group on waste-based sustainable fuel.
In Brazil, the Brazilian Alliance for Aviation
Biofuels (ABRABA) was formed last year in
order to promote public and private initiatives to
develop sustainable aviation biof uels. A BRA BA
includes aviation, fuel technology and agricultural
companies and organisations, including aircraft
manufacturer Embraer and airlines TAM,
Azul and GOL, with the aim of integrating
the country’s efforts to de velop a local aviation
Separately, in July, Boeing announced that it
would team with Embraer and the Inter-American
Development Bank to jointly fund a sustainability
study into producing renewable jet fuel sourced
from Brazilian sugarcane.
Europe’s Airbus, meanwhile, is involved in a
Brazilian consortium with US bioenergy company
SG Biofuels, Air BP, local biofuel company Jetbio
and TAM, aimed at developing 75,000 acres of
jatropha plantations in the central west region
of Brazil for use in biokerosene for local carriers.
Production capability is planned by the end of
2013, initially supplying Sao Paulo and Rio de
Last year in China, meanwhile, the National
Energ y Administration and the US Trade and
Development Agency formed a team including
Boeing , PetroChina , Honeywell’s Green Jet
Fuel developer UOP and United Technologies,
with the aim of establishing an aviation biof uels
industry in the country. The project will include
test flights using locally sourced jatropha oil-
based biofuel in the second half of this year by
Air China .
In addition, Boeing has partnered with the
Chinese Academy of Science’s Qingdao Institute
of Bioenerg y and Bioprocess Technology on algae-
based aviation biofuel, including developing algal
growth, har vesting and processing technologies.
“From a standing start just a few years ago, the aviation
industry has embraced the concept of biofuels with
enthusiasm.” – ATAG
The CSIRO predicts that over the next 20 years a sustainable
aviation fuels industry in Australia and New Zealand could cut
greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent.
AsianAviation | OCTOBER 2011 23
KLM was one of the first airlines to test biofuels and is continuing to do so in its SkyNRG consortium.
30/09/11 9:33 PM
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