Japanese initiative launched to develop next-generation sustainable aviation biofuel sector by 2020
Tue 15 July 2014 – Japan has become the latest country to launch a government-backed initiative to investigate the potential of developing a domestic sustainable aviation biofuel industry. Over 30 companies and organisations from the aerospace, fuel, engineering, finance and research sectors have formed a group called Initiatives for Next Generation Aviation Fuels (INAF) to plan a roadmap towards using nationally sourced aviation biofuels by 2020, when the Olympic and Paralympic Games are to be held in Tokyo. Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Nippon Cargo Airlines and Boeing are among the INAF members. Japan Airlines and Boeing partnered in one of the first demonstration biofuel flights back in January 2009, which was made up of camelina, jatropha and algae blended by Honeywell UOP and supplied by Nikki-Universal, a Japanese joint venture of UOP and JGC Corporation, both members of INAF.
At its initial meeting in May, an INAF steering committee was formed by Boeing, Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Narita International Airport Corporation and Japan Petroleum Exploration, with the University of Tokyo acting as facilitator. Observer status has been accorded to four government ministries that are responsible for agriculture, land, transport, environment and trade and industry.
Hiroko Nakamura from the University of Tokyo’s Center for Aviation Innovation Research told GreenAir there was difficulty in sourcing sufficiently large quantities of plant-based biomass in Japan, and the focus would be on developing fuels from municipal and ligneous waste, and in the longer term, from algae.
She anticipated an INAF website would be launched in August.