Aircraft manufacturers accelerate biofuel commercialization
By Darren Quick
March 22, 2012
Three of the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers have set aside their differences in an effort to accelerate the development of biofuel for commercial aviation. In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this week, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer say they have agreed to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels that will help the aviation industry reduce its carbon footprint.
The agreement will see the three companies using their combined might to attempt to influence governments and lawmakers, biofuel producers, and airlines in an effort to “support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources.”
Along with improvements in aircraft deign, engine efficiency and air traffic management, the companies see biofuels as a necessary component of the aviation industry’s efforts to meet self-imposed CO2 reduction targets, which aim for neutral growth from 2020, and a 50% net reduction in CO2 emissions based on 2005 levels by 2050.
“The production and use of sustainable quantities of aviation biofuels is key to meeting our industry's ambitious CO2 reduction targets,” said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. “We are helping to do this through R+T (research & technology), our expanding network of worldwide value chains and supporting the EU commission towards its target of four per cent of biofuel for aviation by 2020."
Boeing, Airbus and Embraer have all conducted biofuel flights and say that by working together they will be able to speed aviation biofuel development and application of the technology faster than would be possible by acting independently.
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