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20/01/2014 - 16:32hs

Etihad uses biofuel on flight

Test used aviation kerosene and fuel made with dry algae for 45 minutes on a 777 Boeing flight between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

São Paulo – An Etihad Airways 45-minute flight on Sunday used a combination fuel composed of 90% conventional aviation kerosene and 10% biofuel made from dry algae fermentation biomass. The test was carried out on a flight between the cities of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain on a 777 Boeing.

According to information released by Boeing, the test was part of the Abu Dhabi Biojet project, which aims to develop a biofuel that may be produced and refined in Abu Dhabi. According to the Gulf News paper, the idea is that Abu Dhabi becomes a supplier of the product as of 2019. According to Boeing, biofuel carbon dioxide emissions are at least 50% lower than in fossil fuels.

Etihad’s CEO, James Hogan, stated that the company’s objective is to support and help drive the use of this fuel in Abu Dhabi, in the Gulf region and globally. “We have taken important first steps in this process, and our aim is to develop more projects such as this, that expand the availability of sustainable aviation biofuels for Etihad in the coming years,” he stated.

According to information released by Boeing, the test was the result of the partnership between Etihad, Boeing, Masdar Institute, which develops sustainability projects in Abu Dhabi, French oil company Total, which supplied the biomass, and Takreer, which belongs to the state-owned Abu Dhabi oil company, Adnoc, and refined the fuel.

Other projects

This is not the only biofuel development project currently under way in Abu Dhabi. According to information from North American aircraft manufacturer Boeing, Etihad and the Masdar Institute are working in another research to develop salt-resistant algae, which may be used as raw material in the production of biofuel.

Boeing also has a biofuel production project in Brazil, in partnership with Brazilian jet manufacturer Embraer and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (Fapesp). Other countries and regions researching biofuels include United States, China, Middle East, Europe and Australia.

*Translated by Silvia Lindsey

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