Airbus & Air Canada Explore Waste Based Aviation Biofuels

Air Canada and Airbus have signed an agreement with BioFuelNet to help them research aviation biofuels made using municipal solid waste and agricultural and forestry waste as feedstocks.

Air Canada and Airbus have signed an agreement with BioFuelNet to help them find the most promising biofuels for aviation, and will research biofuels made using municipal solid waste and agricultural and forestry waste as feedstocks. (Free webcast available now - Accelerating Biofuels: Waste Gasification to Aviation and Transport Fuels in the UK and US/Canada)

BioFuelNet Canada is not-for-profit organisation hosted by Montreal's McGill University that brings together the Canadian biofuels research community to address the challenges impeding the growth of the advanced biofuels industry, while focusing on non-food biomass as biofuel feedstocks.

According to the organisation, Air Canada (TOR: CA:AC.A) and Airbus - a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS.PA) - are part of a broad coalition, which has pledged carbon neutral growth from 2020 and to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2050.

BioFuelNet went on to explain that under the agreement the research into the use of aviation biofuels will focus on diverse raw materials, such as municipal solid waste and agricultural and forestry waste, as well as a range of conversion processes available for biofuel production.

The ultimate goal is to determine which advanced biofuels are the most sustainable for aviation.

Reducing the carbon footprint of air travel

"Aviation biofuels are one of the most promising ways to reduce the aviation industry's carbon footprint, making air travel more environmentally-friendly", commented Dr. Donald Smith, president of BioFuelNet and McGill University professor

Frederic Eychenne, new energies programme manager at Airbus added: "The commercialisation of sustainable alternative fuels is a key to reducing our sectors carbon footprint."

Eychenne explained that Air Canada has already operated two flights with biofuel and on each occasion substantially reduced its emissions.

"New technologies, such as alternative fuels, are one of the ways our industry plans to reduce its emissions to meet its target of carbon-neutral growth for 2020 and beyond," commented Paul Whitty, director of fuel purchasing and supply at Air Canada and chair of the Air Canada Alternative Fuels Working Group.

BioFuelNet was launched in 2012 as part of the Federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program, which funds BioFuelNet through a $25 million grant over 5 years.

The organisation said that it brings together 74 researchers working on advanced biofuels in Canada, as well as industry partners and government, in order to accelerate research, development, and commercialisation of advanced biofuels.

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