New initiative to grow jet biofuel supply chain in UAE; focus on research, feedstock production and refining capability
Boeing, Etihad Airways, Takreer (Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company), Total and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology will collaborate on a new initiative to support a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the United Arab Emirates.
BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability will engage a broad range of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework for a UAE biofuel supply chain. This initiative will focus on research and development and investments in feedstock production and refining capability in the UAE and globally.
Etihad Airways showed the potential of this homegrown effort yesterday with a 45-minute demonstration flight in a Boeing 777 powered in part by UAE-produced sustainable aviation biofuel. The biofuel was partially converted from plants by Total and refined into jet fuel by Takreer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC). UAE is now among a handful of countries that have produced and flown on their own aviation biofuel, which emits at least 50% less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel over its lifecycle.
Boeing and Etihad Airways are also among the founding partners of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, hosted by the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi. The consortium has been researching and developing salt-tolerant plants that would be raw material for the same refining processes used to produce renewable fuel for the Etihad Airways flight.
The flight and BIOjet Abu Dhabi announcement lead into Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit. These activities and Masdar Institute's aviation biofuel research are aligned with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which seeks to develop sustainable energy sources to diversify the UAE economy and increase workforce opportunities for Emiratis.
A member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), Etihad Airways operated the Gulf region’s first biofuel flight in January 2011 with a Boeing 777 delivery from Seattle to Abu Dhabi powered by a blend of petroleum-based and certified plant oil-based jet fuel.