Boeing and Etihad Airways and partners are working together to create a biofuel industry for aviation in the United Arab Emirates.
The aircraft manufacturer, airline, oil firm Total and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology say the initiative will focus on research in to sustainable and financially viable biofuels based on food products, such as corn.
The UAE biofuel supply chain will be based on salt-resistant plants, converted by Total and then refined. A 45-minute demonstration flight in a Boeing 777 was powered in part by this biofuel, which is believed to emit half the carbon dioxide of fossil fuels when in use.
"In collaboration with our key partners, our goal is to support and help drive the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel in Abu Dhabi, the region and also globally," said Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan. "We have made some important first steps in this process and our continued focus will be to develop further initiatives such as this which will facilitate the availability of sustainable aviation biofuels for Etihad Airways in the coming years."
Boeing is involved in a number of biofuel projects in the United States. However, last year in Europe, regulators proposed limits on how much arable land is permitted to be used in the growth of biofuel-based crops due to worries over future food production.
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