Boeing and South African Airways say they will work together on a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa, a first for the continent, according to a prepared statement published in the WallStreetJournal.
Flight tests show that biofuel made from organic sources such as plants or algae performs as well as or better than petroleum-based jet fuel, the press release said. When produced in sustainable ways, biofuel contributes less to global climate change than traditional fuels because carbon dioxide is pulled out of the atmosphere by a growing plant-based feedstock.
Boeing and SAA believe that new developments in technology will enable the conversion of biomass into jet fuel in a more sustainable manner without competing with other sectors for food and water.
Aviation biofuel refined to required standards has been approved for a blend of up to 50 percent with traditional jet fuel. Globally, more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been flown since the fuel was approved.
Boeing has collaborated in the past with airlines, research institutions, governments and other stakeholders to develop road maps for biofuel supply chains in several countries and regions including the U.S., China, Australia and Brazil. The aerospace company’s plan to work with SAA is the first such project in Africa.
“SAA is taking the lead in Africa on sustainable aviation fuels and, by setting a best practice example, can positively shape aviation biofuel efforts in the region,” said Ian Cruickshank, SAA Head of Group Environmental Affairs. “By working with Boeing’s sustainable aviation biofuel team, which has a history of successful partnerships to move lower-carbon biofuels closer to commercialization, we will apply the best global technology to meet the unique conditions of Southern Africa, diversify our energy sources and create new opportunities for the people of South Africa.”
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