Boeing, COMAC Kick of Biofuels Project

Joanna Schroeder

Hangzhou Energy Engineering & Technology, Co., Ltd., (HEET) will conduct the first research project at the newly formed Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center. HEET will focus on ways to convert waste cooking oil into sustainable aviation biofuels. The center was created by Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) and opened in August at COMAC’s new Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute (BASTRI).

The goal of the project is to identify contaminants in waste cooking oil, which often is described in China as “gutter oil,” and develop processes that may treat and clean it for use as jet fuel. The focus of the project for the first year will be to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving significant cost reduction in converting gutter oils and other waste oils into jet fuel through improvement of conversion efficiency and associated technology.

“As one of the member organizations of COMAC, BASTRI was built for carrying out civil aviation industry research and we aim at expanding knowledge in sustainable aviation biofuels and carbon emissions reduction,” said Qin Fuguang, president of BASTRI, COMAC. “China is the world’s fastest growing aviation market and the biggest consumer of cooking oil. There’s great potential for converting the waste cooking oil into sustainable aviation fuel. It’s a good opportunity for Boeing, HEET and COMAC to work together and make efforts to protect the environment.”

China annually consumes approximately 29 million tons of cooking oil, while its aviation system uses 20 million tons of jet fuel. Finding more efficient ways to convert “gutter oil” into jet fuel could increase regional biofuel supplies and improve biofuel’s affordability, enhancing the potential for commercial use.

Dong Yang Wu, vice president of Boeing Research & Technology – China, added, “HEET is a strong partner for the Boeing-COMAC technology center’s ‘gutter oil’ research project. We are excited about opportunities to partner with leading research capabilities in China to accelerate the global push for renewable jet fuels and support commercial aviation’s growth while reducing its environmental footprint.”

advanced biofuels, Alternative energy, aviation biofuels, Renewable Energy