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Air China links with Boeing for biofuel showcase

Air China links with Boeing for biofuel showcase

Air China and Boeing have joined forced to conducted China’s first sustainable biofuel flight.

Alongside Chinese and US aviation energy partners, the two-hour mainland flight from Beijing Capital International Airport was witnessed by officials from both countries and highlights the viability of using sustainable aviation biofuel sourced in China.
“Through our collaborative efforts with China we have found an incredible partner and place where national capability, innovation and technology come together in a remarkable way,” said Boeing China president Marc Allen.

“This historic flight illustrates exactly how bilateral collaboration can help address environmental challenges, and we commend the Chinese for their leadership in helping to develop sustainable aviation solutions.”

PetroChina, working with Honeywell’s UOP, sourced and refined the China-grown, jatropha-based biofuel used for the flight aboard a Boeing 747-400 powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.

China National Aviation Fuel blended the biofuel with traditional jet fuel and also provided aircraft fuelling support.

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and Boeing also announced an agreement for further study of regional biofuel development.

The study results will help support future efforts to establish a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in China, and also form the foundation for an announced renewable energy agreement between the US Trade and Development Agency and the NEA.

Air China and Boeing are already working plans for an international flight between the US and China fuelled by sustainable biofuel, which will highlight increasing cooperation on renewable energy development between the two countries. 

Biofuels are an emerging area of study for airlines keen to cut fuel costs and boost the eco-credentials, with Qantas, KLM, Lufthansa, and Thomson among those experimenting with the technology.