Qantas today announced a new collaboration with US-based renewable energy company Solazyme to investigate opportunities for algae-based sustainable aviation fuel.
The agreement will see Qantas and Solazyme work closely together over the next 12 months to develop a business case for the introduction of Solazyme’s algal-derived sustainable fuel technology in Australia.
Alongside a similar arrangement with the Solena Group for waste-based sustainable fuel, the feasibility study will form part of the Qantas Group’s long-term strategy to help accelerate the commercialisation of ‘drop-in’ alternative jet fuels as a means of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Qantas Group is carrying out a detailed global review of clean technology fuel companies to establish the most promising partnership opportunities. Solazyme and Solena are among the most respected organisations in the sector, with strong credentials in developing clean energy strategies for major businesses.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce, said the two collaborations were an exciting step forward as part of the airline’s environment strategy.
“Developing sustainable jet fuels is vitally important for the global aviation industry and for the Qantas Group,” Mr Joyce said.
“The costs and environmental impacts associated with traditional jet fuel mean it is imperative that we push hard now for the commercialisation of alternative fuel sources.
“We want to be at the forefront of this growing sector, which is why we have chosen to engage two of the most innovative companies in the field: Solazyme and Solena.
“Qantas will be assessing the feasibility of each of these technologies against stringent commercial and sustainability criteria.
“Over the next year, we look forward to working with both companies - and with other important government and private sector stakeholders - to build the case for sustainable jet fuel production in Australia. We believe this is important not just for Qantas but for the Australian economy as a whole, given the global emergence of green technologies and their potential to drive growth and create jobs.”
Jonathan Wolfson, Chief Executive Officer of Solazyme, said Qantas had taken a leading position in supporting the commercialisation of renewable, sustainable aviation fuels.
“Through this alliance, we hope to use Solazyme’s technology platform to help provide the Australian market with infrastructure to product renewable aviation fuel,” Mr Wolfson said.
“We also believe this agreement is a significant step forward in the commercialisation of Solajet(tm).”
Dr. Robert Do, Chairman and Chief Executive of Solena Fuels, said the company’s state-of-the-art plants are designed to be carbon neutral and self sustaining.
“Solena’s technology and process represents the most efficient means of converting readily available, waste biomass hydrocarbons into a drop-in fuel for airlines that requires no changes to either their infrastructure or engines”, Dr. Do said.