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GE joins Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium to support the development of sustainable alternative fuels

The UAE-based Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a nonprofit, research consortium established to develop technology with the promise of producing sustainable bioenergy, announced GE as its newest member.

The SBRC was founded by The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI), together with Etihad Airways, The Boeing Company, and Honeywell UOP, to advance the aviation industry’s commitment to sustainable business practices by developing technology to produce a clean, alternative fuel supply. Safran also subsequently joined the consortium.

Our membership in SBRC, which is making significant strides in the viability of bioenergy production through its groundbreaking research, is an ideal fit to our operations here. We look forward to supporting the SBRC, and helping to launch the world’s first bioenergy pilot project to use desert land—irrigated by seawater—to sustainably produce both bioenergy and food.

—Rania Rostom, chief innovation officer of GE

SBRC’s most promising research is its Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System. The project is based upon an integrated, closed-loop system. The technology uses coastal seawater to raise fish and shrimp for food, whose nutrient-rich wastewater then fertilizes plants rich in oils that can be harvested for aviation biofuel production.

The plants thrive in arid, desert conditions and don’t require fresh water or arable land to grow. Lastly, the effluent is diverted into cultivated mangroves before being discharged back into the sea, further removing nutrients and providing valuable carbon storage.

SBRC is planning to pilot test the technology to demonstrate the integrated bioenergy process as a commercially viable and sustainable system for renewable jet fuels with respect to essential food and fuel production, suitable land use, reduced carbon emissions and wastewater clean-up.


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