Researchers at Boeing
believe they have identified a renewable fuel used in ground transportation, "green diesel," that could become a significant new source of sustainable aviation biofuel that emits 50 percent less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel over its lifecycle.
Biofuel research in a Boeing laboratory in Seattle. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.
Analysis shows the green diesel, made from oils and fats, is chemically similar to today's aviation biofuel. The airframe manufacturer is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA
), jet engine manufacturers and green diesel producers to compile a detailed research report for submission to key stakeholders in the fuels approval process. If approved, the fuel would be blended with traditional jet fuel.
"Green diesel approval would be a major breakthrough in the availability of competitively priced, sustainable aviation fuel," said Dr. James Kinder, a technical fellow in Boeing's commercial airplanes propulsion systems division.
Aviation biofuel must meet or exceed jet fuel performance requirements.
Boeing has partnered with 27 airlines in the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group to develop aviation biofuel that will help reduce aircraft emissions.
The U.S., Europe and Singapore all already have significant green diesel production capacity that could supply as much as 1 percent, about 600 million gallons, of global commercial jet fuel demand.