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MENAFN Press - 22/01/2014
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Infographic - SBRC pilot project-L
(MENAFN Press) Boeing [NYSE:BA] and research partners in the United Arab Emirates have made breakthroughs in sustainable aviation biofuel development, finding that desert plants fed by seawater will produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), affiliated with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, will test these findings in a project that could support biofuel crop production in arid countries, such as the U.A.E



"Plants called halophytes show even more promise than we expected as a source of renewable fuel for jets and other vehicles," said Dr. Alejandro Rios, Director of the SBRC. "The U.A.E. has become a leader in using desert land and seawater to grow sustainable biofuel feedstocks, which has potential applications in other parts of the world.



Funded by Boeing, Etihad Airways and Honeywell UOP, the SRBC is dedicated to the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation biofuel, which emits 50 to 80 percent less carbon through its lifecycle compared to fossil fuel



"Etihad Airways is very pleased with the research results of these saltwater-tolerant plants," said Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan. "This is real progress in developing a truly sustainable aviation biofuel from a renewable plant source, appropriate to our environment.



Halophyte seeds contain oil suitable for biofuel production. SBRC research found that the entire shrublike plant can be turned into biofuel more effectively than many other feedstocks



In the coming year, SBRC scientists will create a test ecosystem by planting two crops of halophytes in Abu Dhabi's sandy soil. Waste seawater from a fish and shrimp farm will nourish halophytes that clean the water as they grow. The water will next flow into a field of mangroves before returning to the ocean. Both plants would be converted into aviation biofuel using SBRC research findings.



"This project can have a global impact, since 97 percent of the earth's water is ocean and 20 percent of the earth's land is desert," Dr. Rios said



"Boeing is committed to finding ways to reduce aviation's carbon emissions, and sustainable aviation biofuels is a key component of our strategy," said Jeffrey Johnson, president, Boeing Middle East. "Masdar Institute's biofuel research is showing tremendous potential, and we applaud Abu Dhabi's leadership and innovation in this critical area.



SBRC's research success, announced at the World Future Energy Summit, continues the momentum for a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Abu Dhabi. On January 18, Etihad Airways conducted a demonstration flight with a 777-300ER (Extended Range) powered in part with biofuel refined in U.A.E. On January 19, Boeing, Etihad Airways, Masdar Institute and others launched BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability, an initiative to advance biofuel research, feedstock production and refining capability



These activities are aligned with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which seeks to develop sustainable energy sources to diversify the U.A.E. economy and increase workforce opportunities for Emiratis


About Masdar Institute
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute) was established by the government of Abu Dhabi as a not-for-profit, private graduate university to develop indigenous R&D capacity in Abu Dhabi addressing issues of importance to the region. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute has developed an academic and research platform that articulates its mission and vision according to critical energy and sustainability challenges.An important characteristic of Masdar Institute is its focus on complex real-world problems that require a multidisciplinary approach for the development of solutions from an integrated technology, systems and policy perspective. This multi-interdisciplinary and integrated approach is supported by the structure of its academic programs and by the emphasis placed on engaging external partners from industry, government, and other academic institutions in collaborative activities.Masdar Institute offers degrees in:MSc Engineering Systems and ManagementMSc Computing and Information ScienceMSc Materials Science and EngineeringMSc Mechanical EngineeringMSc Water and Environmental EngineeringMSc Microsystems EngineeringMSc Electrical Power EngineeringMSc Chemical EngineeringPhD in Interdisciplinary EngineeringPlease visit http://www.masdar.ac.ae/About BoeingBoeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training. Boeing collaborates with airlines, research institutions, governments and other stakeholders to commercialise sustainable biofuel around the world, including in the United States, Middle East, China, Brazil, Europe and Australia. For more information, please visit www.boeing.com/environment/About Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried nearly 12 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways offers flights to 102 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 89 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The airline has more than 220 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s, and 10 Airbus A380s, the world's largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus and Jet Airways. Subject to regulatory approvals, Etihad Airways will acquire 49 per cent of Air Serbia and 33.3 per cent of Darwin Airline in Q1 2014. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com

 


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