Getting rid of fossil fuels is one of the aviation industry's biggest challenges. That's why it's huge news that the CSIRO and Boeing have joined forces to research sustainable biofuels to replace fossil fuels in Australia.
“Aviation fuels made from biomass have been certified and are being used on commercial and military aircraft, so the challenge now is to find the right way to scale up feedstock production so these new fuels are both environmentally and economically sustainable,” said Michael Edwards, general manager of Boeing Research & Technology-Australia.
The research will look into growing new feedstocks in Northern Australia over the next 12 months, as well as developing methods to turn it into jet fuel.
The first phase of the Sustainable Feedstocks for Aviation Fuels program will concentrate on three key elements over the next 12 months, including:
§ Assessment of current and new biomass production systems based on feedstocks such as grasses and short rotation trees in combination with grazing or cropping in regional Queensland;
§ Assessment of potential fuel conversion technology to convert these feedstocks into jet fuels; and
§ Assessment of appropriate production systems and technology types that will match with local infrastructure.
As the project develops, the research hopes to find ways to commercialise the research, potentially creating 12,000 jobs and reducing the Australian aviation industry's reliance on fossil fuels by $2 billion per year.
It's an amazing project that will hopefully advance not just the aviation industry, but mass transport's reliance on fossil fuels.