Boeing and the Chinese company COMAC (Comac) recently launched a demonstration site whose mission is to transform used cooking oil – commonly known as “gutter oil” in China – sustainable biofuel for aviation.
According to the two partners, 1.8 billion liters of biofuel could thus be produced annually in China from used cooking oil.
“Thanks to the close and continuous collaboration between Boeing and COMAC, our industry face growing environmental challenges that no company, no country can solve alone,” said Ian Thomas, president of Boeing China. “This mutually beneficial partnership allows us to identify innovative solutions to help the Chinese aviation industry and build a sustainable future.”
Boeing and COMAC fund this pilot project called “China-US Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project.” This site uses a technology developed by Hangzhou Energy Technology & Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. (HEET) to remove waste that contains waste oil and convert the resulting oil aviation fuel at the rate of 650 liters per day. The objective of the project is to evaluate the technical feasibility and cost of production of biofuel in greater volumes.
“We welcome the progress achieved in the framework of the collaboration between Boeing and COMAC, especially the achievements in the field of aviation biofuels,” added Dr. Guangqiu Wang, vice president of the Institute Science Research & aviation technology COMAC. “We will continue our collaboration with Boeing in the fields of energy saving and emission reduction in order to promote sustainable development of the aviation industry.”
Biofuels produced sustainably reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 50 to 80% compared to kerosene throughout their life cycle, and should play a key role in a growing aviation market while meeting environmental objectives. According to the forecast by Boeing for the next twenty years, China will need more than 6,000 new aircraft by 2033 to meet growing passenger traffic, both domestically and internationally.
Located in Beijing, the center Boeing-COMAC dedicated to energy-saving technologies and emission reduction work in partnership with universities and research institutes in China to develop knowledge in areas that improve the efficiency of the aviation industry, such as biofuels for aviation and air traffic management.
Biodiesel produced in the US-China pilot project dedicated to aviation biofuels meet the approved in 2011 for aviation fuel made from vegetable oils and animal fats international specifications.
This type of biofuel has been used on more than 1,600 commercial flights.