Business

January 24, 2014

Boeing, UAE partners look to harvest biofuel from desert plants

boeing-biofuel1
Boeing and research partners in the United Arab Emirates have made breakthroughs in sustainable aviation biofuel development, finding that desert plants fed by seawater will produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks.

The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, affiliated with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, will test these findings in a project that could support biofuel crop production in arid countries, such as the U.A.E.

“Plants called halophytes show even more promise than we expected as a source of renewable fuel for jets and other vehicles,” said Dr. Alejandro Rios, Director of the SBRC. “The U.A.E. has become a leader in researching desert land and seawater to grow sustainable biofuel feedstocks, which has potential applications in other parts of the world.”

Funded by Boeing, Etihad Airways and Honeywell UOP, the SRBC is dedicated to the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation biofuel, which emits 50 to 80 percent less carbon through its lifecycle compared to fossil fuel.

“Etihad Airways is very pleased with the research results of these saltwater-tolerant plants,” said Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan. “This is real progress in developing a truly sustainable aviation biofuel from a renewable plant source, appropriate to our environment.”

Halophyte seeds contain oil suitable for biofuel production. SBRC research found that the entire shrublike plant can be turned into biofuel more effectively than many other feedstocks.

boeing-biofuel2

In the coming year, SBRC scientists will create a test ecosystem by planting two crops of halophytes in Abu Dhabi’s sandy soil. Waste seawater from a fish and shrimp farm will nourish halophytes that clean the water as they grow. The water will next flow into a field of mangroves before returning to the ocean. Both plants would be converted into aviation biofuel using SBRC research findings.

“This project can have a global impact, since 97 percent of the earth’s water is ocean and 20 percent of the earth’s land is desert,” Dr. Rios said.

“Boeing is committed to finding ways to reduce aviation’s carbon emissions, and sustainable aviation biofuels is a key component of our strategy,” said Jeffrey Johnson, president, Boeing Middle East. “Masdar Institute’s biofuel research is showing tremendous potential, and we applaud Abu Dhabi’s leadership and innovation in this critical area.”

SBRC’s research success, announced at the World Future Energy Summit, continues the momentum for a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Abu Dhabi. On January 18, Etihad Airways conducted a demonstration flight with a 777-300ER (Extended Range) powered in part with biofuel refined in U.A.E. On January 19, Boeing, Etihad Airways, Masdar Institute and others launched BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability, an initiative to advance biofuel research, feedstock production and refining capability.

These activities are aligned with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which seeks to develop sustainable energy sources to diversify the U.A.E. economy and increase workforce opportunities for Emiratis.

Boeing collaborates with airlines, research institutions, governments and other stakeholders to develop sustainable biofuel supply chains around the world, including in the United States, China, Brazil, Australia and Europe.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA JPL image

NASA analysis: 11 trillion gallons to replenish California drought losses

NASA JPL image NASA satellite data reveal the severity of California’s drought on water resources across the state. This map shows the trend in water storage between September 2011 and September 2014. It will take about 11 tr...
 
 

Boeing breaks ground in St. Louis for new composites center

Boeing Dec. 16 began construction in St. Louis of a new 367,000-square-foot facility in which it will build parts for the newest member of its 777 commercial airplanes family, the 777X.  About 700 new jobs will be created for the 777X work. Construction should be complete in 2016, with work on 777X wing and empennage...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

Governor Brown’s Military Council visits Aerospace Valley

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds Maj. Logan “Vice” Lamping, F-35 Test Pilot of the 461st Flight Test Squadron briefs visitors of The Governor’s Military Council. The council visited Edwards Air Force Base and Ai...
 

 
NASA photograph by George Hale

NASA’s IceBridge Antarctic campaign wraps up

NASA photograph by George Hale A view from an IceBridge survey flight Nov. 3, 2014, showing a cloud’s shadow on crevassed Antarctic ice. NASA’s Operation IceBridge recently completed its 2014 Antarctic campaign, marking the...
 
 

Raytheon, Bell conduct first missile launch from V-22

Raytheon and Bell Helicopter have completed two successful launches of the Griffin B missile from a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey multi-mission aircraft at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. As an industry funded effort with Bell’s Xworx, Raytheon demonstrated the simplicity of integrating the Griffin B missile onto the V-22 platform. “This is the first time a...
 
 
Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds

Many living with PTSD

Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds Helping paws – Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Phillip Waln, member of VFW Post 3000 visits with Michele and her therapy pet, Morgan, during a PTSD awareness workshop. With an es...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>