Aviation biofuel roadmap for Australasia

Research organisation CSIRO is leading a study involving Australasia’s major aviation players is leading a world-first study to accelerate the development and commercialisation of a sustainable aviation fuels industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Called the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road Map, the project has been developed in collaboration with the Australasian section of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG) – including Air New Zealand, Boeing, Qantas and Virgin Blue – together with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Aviation accounts for 2 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. Cleaner jet fuels derived from plant matter (known as bio-oil) are believed to offer the largest single opportunity to reduce emissions while ensuring long-term fuel security for the sector.

The road map will examine the barriers, opportunities and implications of producing bio-derived jet fuels at scale, including factors such as commercial viability, environmental sustainability, and alternative biomass feedstocks (such as algae and more traditional forest and agricultural products) for producing aviation biofuels in the Australasian climate and region.

Paul Graham, who is leading the project for CSIRO, said: "the issue is whether we can produce a cost-effective bio-derived jet fuel alternative to fossil fuels that doesn't have any detrimental impacts on the environment or social make-up of regional Australia."

The study will draw on the expertise of participants and use sophisticated economic modelling to map out future scenarios. It is intended to provide useful input to decision makers in industry and government on strategic policy and future investment, through the release of a public report in September 2010.

Participants in the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road Map are listed on the CSIRO website.


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