Boeing and Chinese Academy of Science to Expand Collaboration on Algae-Based Aviation Biofuels
27 May 2010
Boeing Research & Technology and the Chinese Academy of Science’s Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) have agreed to expand their collaboration to include other research institutions and aviation supply chain entities as part of their efforts on algae-based aviation biofuel development.
Boeing and QIBEBT previously announced the establishment of a joint research and development laboratory focused on algal growth, harvesting and processing technologies. The Joint Laboratory for Sustainable Aviation Biofuels will be located in Qingdao and managed by Boeing Research & Technology-China and QIBEBT, which will work together to place a strong emphasis on commercial applications for developed technologies.
Boeing made the announcement in conjunction with the announcement of its participation with PetroChina, representatives of the Chinese energy sector, and members of the global aviation industry in a collaboration to evaluate establishing a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in China. (Earlier post.)
The strategic assessment is the first such effort in China and will take a comprehensive look at the environmental and socio-economic benefits of developing sustainable alternatives to fossil-based jet fuels.
The project will look at all phases of sustainable aviation biofuel development including agronomy, energy inputs and outputs, lifecycle emissions analysis, infrastructure and government policy support. The assessment, slated to begin in June, supports a broader sustainable aviation biofuel agreement between China's National Energy Administration and the US Trade and Development Agency to promote the commercialization and use of aviation biofuels in China through the US-China Energy Cooperation Program (ECP), a public-private partnership.
Other US companies participating include AECOM, Honeywell’s UOP and United Technologies. Air China and PetroChina Company, Ltd. will lead the Chinese team.
Air China, PetroChina, Boeing and Honeywell’s UOP plan to conduct an inaugural flight using sustainable biofuel derived from biomass grown and processed in China. PetroChina will provide the biomass, which will be processed into jet fuel by UOP. The biofuel flight, which will occur in China, will highlight the viability of the entire supply chain: from seed to flight. Additional details on the flight timing and location will be announced at a future date.
Boeing is actively pursuing biofuel research around the world. Sustainable biofuels can help reduce carbon emissions while offering the potential to lessen aviation’s dependence on fossil fuels. Through these agreements China, its aviation sector and its leadership are demonstrating tremendous drive in the quest to develop a clean, sustainable aviation fuel supply.
—Boeing China President David Wang
Even with algal growth there is not enough efficiency and land area to support a sufficiently large solar input to supply a large fraction of the present fossil energy use. Boeing would be better off promoting the pebble bed reactor development in China for the generation of hydrogen by chemical high temperature processes. They would also support the recovery of CO2 from the air and other sources to combine with the hydrogen to make jet kerosene. Short flights can be done with the lower energy density methanol which is easier to make from hydrogen and CO2. One US company was proposing to feed CO and hydrogen to yeasts to produce ethanol, but they should try to produce butanol as well which has high enough energy density for most aircraft flights but the fuel tanks may have to be heated. ..HG..
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 27 May 2010 at 01:08 PM
Asst. Sec. of Energy David Sandalow is a TRAITOR and needs to resign. He put together a deal with Boeing and China Oil companies to make Algae Jet Fuel in China.
Isn't this a clear BREACH OF NATIONAL SECURITY.
Posted by: Concerned Taxpayer | 28 May 2010 at 11:39 AM