Persistently high oil prices and the imperative of reducing aviation’s carbon footprint have driven rivals Airbus, Boeing and Embraer to partner in the quest for cleaner-burning biofuels. The airframers signed a memorandum of understanding March 22 at the Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva to jointly promote the commercialization of “drop-in” biofuels—alternative fuels that make use of the existing petroleum infrastructure.
Today at the Air Transport Action Group Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The three aircraft manufacturers will seek “collaborative opportunities to speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources. Their goal is to have biofuel meet 4 percent of aviation’s fuel needs by 2020.
With advocacy groups demanding cleaner air and governments passing more and more stringent engine emissions requirements, aviation has been taking a beating as a prime offender in creating carbon emissions.
The FAA is awarding a total of $7.7 million in contracts to eight companies–Honeywell UOP, LanzaTech, Virent Energy Systems, Velocys, Honeywell Aerospace, Metron Aviation, Futurepast: Inc. and Life Cycle Associates–to help advance alternative commercial jet fuels.
Alaska Airlines and sister carrier Horizon Air have purchased sufficient biofuel from SkyNRG, an aviation biofuels broker, to operate a total of 75 passenger flights using biofuel during the month of November. Beginning today, Alaska Airlines will fly a Boeing 737 between Seattle and Washington, D.C., for a total of 11 trips and Horizon Air will fly a Q400 a total of 64 trips from Seattle to Portland, Ore. The aircraft will be burning a 20-percent blend of sustainable biofuel that “meets rigorous international safety and sustainability standards.”
Air China has successfully completed a demonstration flight using a sustainable biofuel derived from biomass grown in China.
Hawker Beechcraft’s turbine-powered aircraft are approved to use biofuels, a renewable resource that can help reduce the use of fossil fuels and minimize carbon emissions. The biofuel must meet American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM) turbine fuel standards to be eligible.
Opposition to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) continued to gain airspeed and altitude last week with the addition of long-range Middle Eastern air carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar.
As the date of the European Union’s (EU) controversial implementation of its aircraft Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) nears, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is moving forward with plans for a global carbon dioxide (CO2) standard for aircraft it hopes to have developed by 2013.
San Diego-based SG Biofuels (SGB) announced today it has teamed with JetBio–an initiative that includes Airbus, the Inter-American Development Bank, Bioventures Brasil, Rio Pardo Bioenergia, Air BP and TAM Airlines–to accelerate the production of crude jatropha oil as a source for biojet fuel in Brazil.