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Boeing and partners research in sustainable aviation biofuel production

CTBR Staff Writer Published 03 December 2015

Boeing, along with the University of British Columbia (UBC) and SkyNRG, is working on finding ways to convert leftover branches, sawdust and other forest-industry waste into sustainable aviation biofuel.

The project is being backed by the Canadian aviation industry and other stakeholders.

A consortium comprising Boeing, Air Canada, WestJet, Bombardier, research institutions and industry partners will assess whether forest waste can be harnessed to produce sustainable aviation biofuel using thermochemical processing.

According to the US Department of Energy, use of sustainable biofuel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 50-80% when compared to conventional petroleum fuel.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes environmental strategy & integration managing director Julie Felgar said: "Sustainable aviation biofuel will play a critical role in reducing aviation's carbon emissions over the long term.

"Canada is in a terrific position to leverage its sustainable forests to make environmental progress for its aviation industry and other transport sectors."

The project has recently secured funding from the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN) of Canada, as part of a series of investments in technologies to reduce aviation's carbon emissions.

Air Canada environmental affairs director Teresa Ehman said: "By utilizing Canada's strong forestry research expertise and the knowledge of industry collaborators, this project will contribute significantly to understanding the viability of forest residue-sourced biofuel."

Figures released a study conducted by UBC show that aviation biofuel made from forest waste could meet 10% of British Columbia's jet fuel demand every year.