First research project by new Chinese technology centre to focus on converting used cooking oil to jet fuel
Wed 24 Oct 2012 – The first aviation biofuel research project has been announced by the newly-formed joint venture between Boeing and Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC. The research, to be conducted by Hangzhou Energy Engineering & Technology (HEET), will focus on ways to convert discarded cooking oil into a component of sustainable aviation biofuel. It aims to identify contaminants in such oils as well as processes that may be used to clean them for use as jet fuel. China annually consumes 29 million tons of cooking oil, while its aviation system uses 20 million tons of jet fuel. The work will be carried out at the new Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center that opened in August at COMAC’s Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute (BASTRI).
Finding more efficient ways to convert used cooking oil, known in China as ‘gutter oil’, into jet fuel could increase regional biofuel supplies and improve their affordability, thus enhancing the potential for commercial use, say the partners.
The focus of the project for the first year will be to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving significant cost reductions in converting gutter oils and other waste oils into jet fuel through improvements in conversion efficiency and associated technology.
“China is the world’s fastest growing aviation market and the biggest consumer of cooking oil. There’s great potential for converting the waste cooking oil into sustainable aviation fuel,” said Qin Fuguang, President of BASTRI. “It’s a good opportunity for Boeing, HEET and COMAC to work together and make efforts to protect the environment.”
The Boeing-COMAC technology centre is working with China-based universities and research institutions to expand knowledge in areas such as sustainable aviation biofuels and air traffic management in order to improve commercial aviation efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. HEET is a leading energy technology company specialising in alternative and green energy development.