European Commission, Airbus, airlines and biofuel producers launch initiative targeting 2M tonnes of aviation biofuel annually by 2020
The European Commission’s services, in close coordination with Airbus, leading European airlines (Lufthansa, Air France/KLM, & British Airways) and key European biofuel producers (Choren Industries, Neste Oil, Biomass Technology Group and UOP), have launched a new industry-wide initiative to try to speed up the commercialization of aviation biofuels in Europe. Labelled “Biofuel Flightpath”, the initiative is a roadmap with clear milestones which targets an annual production of two million tonnes of sustainably produced biofuel for aviation by 2020.
The biofuel will be produced in Europe from European sourced feedstock material and has the backing of The European Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, Airbus CEO Tom Enders, major European airlines, and a number of advanced biofuel producers. Lufthansa and British Airways from the airlines; and Neste Oil and UOP/Honeywell from the biofuel producers were members of the core team that developed the Biofuel Flightpath.
The Biofuel Flightpath commits members to support and promote the production, storage and distribution of sustainably produced drop-in biofuels for use in aviation and to reach two million tonnes production and consumption by 2020. It also targets establishing appropriate financial mechanisms to support the construction of industrial first-of-a-kind advanced biofuel production plants.
The Biofuels Flight path is explained in a technical paper, which sets out in more detail the challenges and required actions. The key findings of the technical paper were presented to the stakeholders during a Workshop “Achieving 2 million tons of biofuels use in aviation by 2020” held in Brussels on 18 May 2011.
At present, the paper noted, three types of biofuels are favored to be used in aviation jet engines blended with kerosene: Synthetic Fischer-Tropsch (FT) based kerosene produced through high temperature biomass gasification; and Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (HVO) and Hydrogenated Pyrolysis Oils (HPO) produced from lignocellulosic biomass.
In general, the Biofuel Flightpath aims to:
Facilitate the development of standards for drop-in biofuels and for their certification Work together with the full supply chain to further develop worldwide accepted sustainability certification.
Facilitate dedicated aviation biofuel production at a reasonable cost by agreeing to tangible biofuel supply and purchase commitments.
Promote appropriate legislative measures to ensure the market uptake of paraffinic biofuels by the aviation sector.
Accelerate research and innovation into advanced biofuel technologies, including algae.
Establish financing structures to facilitate sustainable biofuel projects.
Publicly promote the benefits of replacing kerosene by sustainable biofuels.