COMAC of China, Boeing open Energy Conservation Center; first focus on aviation biofuel from waste cooking oil
Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) and Boeing opened the Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center, a collaborative effort to support commercial aviation industry growth. The Boeing-COMAC Technology Center’s first research project will explore opportunities to refine waste cooking oil, often described in China as “gutter oil,” into sustainable aviation biofuel.
Funded by both companies, the Boeing-COMAC Technology Center is working with China-based universities and research institutions to expand knowledge in areas such as sustainable aviation biofuels and air traffic management that improve commercial aviation’s efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. It is located in COMAC’s new Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute (BASTRI).
The Boeing-COMAC Technology Center’s first research project aims to identify contaminants in “gutter oil” and processes that may treat and clean it for use as jet fuel. Waste cooking oil shows potential for sustainable aviation biofuel production and an alternative to petroleum-based fuel because China annually consumes approximately 29 million tons of cooking oil, while its aviation system uses 20 million tons of jet fuel.
Finding ways to convert discarded “gutter oil” into jet fuel could enhance regional biofuel supplies and improve biofuel’s affordability.
The center furthers the collaboration agreement announced in March between COMAC, which is building the new C919 jet and ARJ21 regional jet, and Boeing, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary of providing commercial aircraft and services to China’s aviation industry.
China is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets. The Civil Aviation Administration of China has forecast that passenger traffic in China will surpass 300 million this year and will reach 1.5 billion passengers in 2030. Boeing has estimated that Chinese airlines will need to buy 5,000 new airplanes by 2030 to meet this extraordinary demand.
The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) is a state-owned company, which is formed with the approval of the State Council and jointly invested by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council, Shanghai Guosheng (Group) Co., Ltd., Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), China Aluminum Corporation (CHINALCO), Baosteel Group, and Sinochem Group.
COMAC functions as the main vehicle in implementing large passenger aircraft programs in China. It is also mandated with the overall planning of developing trunk liner and regional jet programs and realizing the industrialization of civil aircraft in China. COMAC is engaged in the research, manufacture and flight tests of civil aircraft and related businesses such as marketing, servicing, leasing and operations of civil aircraft.
The company has six member organizations: Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute (SADRI), Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (SAMC), Shanghai Aircraft Customer Service Co., Ltd., Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute (BASTRI), COMAC Flight Test Center (CFTC), Shanghai Aviation Industrial (Group) Co., Ltd. (SAIGC) and Shanghai Commercial Aircraft Magazine Co., Ltd.
COMAC adopts a “major manufacturer-suppliers” model, focusing on aircraft design, final assembly and manufacture of aircraft, marketing and customer service, and acquisition of certification. COMAC is determined independently to build large Chinese passenger aircraft.