Boeing and CSIRO are continuing research on aviation fuels for the future.
New sustainable aviation fuel feedstocks
Boeing and CSIRO have partnered to undertake a comprehensive study to evaluate the potential for growing new feedstocks in northern Australia and turning them into sustainable aviation biofuels.
26 April 2012 | Updated 27 April 2012
'Aviation fuels made from biomass have been certified and are being used on commercial and military aircraft, so the challenge now is to find the right way to scale up feedstock production so these new fuels are both environmentally and economically sustainable,' said Mr Michael Edwards, Boeing Research & Technology Australia.
The Sustainable Feedstocks for Aviation Fuels program builds on the recommendations of the Flight Path to Sustainable Aviation Roadmap, released in May 2011, and continues the strong research relationship developed between Boeing and CSIRO over more than 20 years.
The Sustainable Feedstocks for Aviation Fuels program will identify and trial new fuel sources that are compatible with existing land uses.
'The roadmap made a compelling case for the development of a new Australian bio-based aviation fuel industry generating some 12 000 clean energy jobs over the next 20 years, especially in regional areas, cutting greenhouse emissions and reducing Australia’s reliance on aviation fuels imports by A$2 billion per annum,' said Mr Edwards.
The program is being led by CSIRO’s Dr Deborah O’Connell, an internationally-recognised expert in bioenergy and sustainability.
'The Sustainable Feedstocks for Aviation Fuels program will identify and trial new fuel sources that are compatible with existing land uses with the ultimate goal of developing commercially-viable feedstock to fuel supply chains this decade,' said Dr O’Connell.
The first phase of the research program will concentrate on three key elements over the next 12 months, including assessment of:
- current and new biomass production systems based on feedstocks such as grasses and short rotation trees in combination with grazing or cropping in regional Queensland
- potential fuel conversion technology to convert these feedstocks into jet fuels
- appropriate production systems and technology types that will match with local infrastructure.
Over the longer term, Boeing and CSIRO hopes to attract further investment and partnerships to develop and commercialise the most prospective options, as well as to test and implement sustainability assessment methods and schemes.
Read more about the Flight Path to Sustainable Aviation Fuels.