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Boeing and Japanese aviation industry unveil biofuel roadmap

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Boeing and Japanese aviation industry stakeholders are set to develop sustainable aviation biofuel for flights during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The Initiatives for Next Generation Aviation Fuels (INAF), a consortium of 46 organisations including Boeing, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, the Japanese government and the University of Tokyo, has laid out a five year roadmap to develop biofuel by 2020 as a way to reduce aviation's environmental footprint. Using sustainably produced biofuel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 80% compared to conventional petroleum fuel, according to the US Department of Energy.

"Boeing is proud to work with Japan's aviation sector, including customers and the Japanese government, to achieve their ambitious goals for developing sustainable aviation biofuel," said George Maffeo, President, Boeing Japan. "Building on our longstanding relationships in Japan, we are committed to help reduce aviation's carbon emissions and its reliance on fossil fuel."

"Developing and using sustainable aviation biofuel is an excellent way for Japan to show its commitment to the environment and technologies that can reduce aviation's environmental impact," added Shinji Suzuki, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics,University of Tokyo. "And, as the new aviation biofuel 'roadmap' indicates, Japan is ready to accelerate development and use of sustainable aviation fuels by the 2020 Olympics."

The INAF report, ‘Roadmap for Establishing Supply Chain for Next Generation Aviation Fuels’, established the following conclusions:

  • Industry, government and academia in Japan need to collaborate to promote the introduction of sustainable aviation biofuel to support Japan's energy security and reduce aviation's greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Potential feedstocks, or biologically based sources, that could be used to produce sustainable aviation biofuel in Japan include municipal solid waste, plant oils and animal fats, used cooking oil, algae, cellulosic biomass and residues from the wood products industry.
  • Policy incentives promoting the introduction of next generation aviation fuels are a prerequisite to success in aviation biofuel use.

INAF was established in May 2014 with the aim of establishing a supply chain for next generation aviation fuels in Japan. Its roadmap process assessed the entire biofuel supply chain, including procurement of raw materials, production of sustainable aviation fuel, blending biofuel with conventional petroleum jet fuel and how biofuel will be incorporated into an airport's fuelling infrastructure. Boeing has active biofuel projects on six continents, including in the US, Australia, Brazil, Africa, China, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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