Airbus, Sinopec Working to Develop Renewable Jet Fuel in China

Aircraft maker Airbus SAS and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the company known as Sinopec that’s the country’s largest fuel supplier, agreed to work together to develop cleaner jet fuel in China.

The companies are helping China to establish airworthiness certification for renewable jet fuels made from locally grown plants, Airbus said today in an e-mailed statement. The process may take one to two years, Frederic Eychenne, Airbus New Energies Program Manager, said by phone.

Sinopec has developed its own technology for making jet fuel from biomass and waste oil at a new refinery near Shanghai, according to the statement. It’s one of the only facilities capable of making aviation fuel from biomass in large quantities, it said.

The companies are also working to set up an alternative fuel “value chain” in China, which would bring together growers, distributors and government agencies to help accelerate its commercialization. China Eastern Airlines Corp. last month said it’s joining Airbus’ network.

Airbus and Boeing Co. are among airplane producers building supply networks for alternative fuel in an aviation industry that makes up 2 percent of world carbon-dioxide output. Airbus in March joined a group including Virgin Australia to study use of eucalyptus mallee trees for fuel, and has an agreement with Brazil’s Embraer SA to collaborate on aviation biofuels.

The aviation industry aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2050 compared with 2005 levels.

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