Airbus and China’s Tsinghua University have agreed to jointly investigate biofuel feedstocks in the country in an initiative designed to identify the best options for sustainable commercialization of alternative fuel supply for aviation. By early next year, Airbus hopes to have narrowed down the list of possible feedstocks, which will include cooking oil and algae, to the most promising alternative fuel solutions. With that decision taken, the partners intend to investigate ways to accelerate production.
Air China has successfully completed a demonstration flight using a sustainable biofuel derived from biomass grown in China.
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.
Honeywell’s corporate Gulfstream G450 made bizav history when it landed at Le Bourget in time for the Paris Air Show after the first transatlantic flight using biofuel, a trip that resulted in net equivalent savings for the seven-hour flight of roughly 5.5 metric tons of CO2.
Honeywell made history here in Paris on Saturday morning, landing its Gulfstream G450 jet at Le Bourget after the first transatlantic flight using biofuel. The trip’s green credentials can be measured in the 5.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) saved in the course of the seven-hour flight from the New York-area Morristown Airport. In fact, the aircraft crossed the Pond only partly powered by biofuel.
Airbus, Brazilian carrier TAM Linhas Aéreas and others interested in the feasibility of biofuels for aviation use are working to establish a “bio-kerosene jet-fuel” processing plant in Brazil, aiming to “gradually substitute fossil fuel with biofuel.” Other companies participating include Brazilian renewable energy Curcas and biofuel producer Brasil Ecodiesel, along with AirBP.
Eurocopter and parent company EADS have teamed with Argentina-based BioCombustibles del Chubut (BC) to study the feasibility of building an aviation biofuel factory in Brazil. The three companies signed an agreement in June. The biofuel, made from algae, could be used in Eurocopter’s diesel engines for light helicopters, which are now in the research stage (see AIN, February, page 44).
Honeywell last month said it completed initial testing of renewable jet fuel on its 131-9 APU and TFE731-5 turbofan engine. Bob Smith, vice president for advanced technology, said the company had seen “no degradation in engine performance or fuel consumption.” The biofuel was produced by Honeywell’s UOP unit using oil from jatropha plants and algae.
New engine orders slumped badly for CFM International during the first five months of this year. The French-U.S. partnership sold just 303 engines through May 31–less than a quarter of the (admittedly exceptional) total of 1,342 sold in the same period in 2008.
Honeywell Aerospace is gearing up for biofuel tests on its APUs and engines this summer in a bid to stay ahead of the alternative fuel push. The company plans to run a business jet engine and an airliner APU fueled by a mix of jatropha and algae oils from sister company UOP, which has blended various fuels for more than 100 years.
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