Bio-derived jet fuel a possibility
A joint research report compiled by CSIRO and major aviation industry representatives shows that economically and environmentally beneficial aviation fuel is a viable proposition in the coming 20 years.
The report, Flight Path to Sustainable Aviation, predicts that over the next 20 years a new, sustainable, Australia-New Zealand aviation fuels industry could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent, generate more than 12,000 jobs and reduce Australia’s reliance on aviation fuel imports by $2 billion per annum.
"Through the uptake of sustainable bio-derived jet fuel, together with next generation aircraft and engines, the industry can reduce both its emissions and its reliance on imported fossil fuel,” said the project's leader, CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship's economist Paul Graham.
The study was commissioned by and developed in collaboration with the members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group– including Air New Zealand, Boeing, Qantas and Virgin Australia – together with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and The Climate Group.
It found that production of commercially viable quantities of aviation fuels derived from non-food biomass sources (eg: crop stubble, forestry residues, municipal waste and algae) is a feasible option for Australia and New Zealand. It also found there are currently sufficient biomass stocks to support a local jet fuel industry.
The report identifies several major actions that are required by 2015 to ensure the industry can be established. These include:
- Creation of a supportive market structure and supply chain
- Development of refining plants
- Certification and independent verification to ensure sustainability of the fuel.
A full version of the report can be accessed here