Bio-fuel iniative launched by Airbus, TAROM
OTOPENI, Romania, 22 March 2011. A sustainable bio-kerosene jet-fuel processing and production capability program has been kick-started by oficials at Airbus and TAROM Romanian Air Transport. The Camelina plant will be the feedstock because of its renewable energy potential as a sustainable substitute to fossil based jet fuel; its rotational crop qualities; its green house gas reduction potential; and its low water requirements.
Posted by John McHale
OTOPENI, Romania, 22 March 2011. A sustainable bio-kerosene jet-fuel processing and production capability program has been kick-started by oficials at Airbus and TAROM Romanian Air Transport. The Camelina plant will be the feedstock because of its renewable energy potential as a sustainable substitute to fossil-based jet fuel; its rotational crop qualities; its green house gas reduction potential; and its low water requirements.
Camelina is also indigenous to Romania, and can be readily farmed and harvested by family farmers. The project is being overseen by a Romanian-based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and Airbus is acting as the catalyst in getting the Romanian value chain for a local bio-fuel solution up and running.
Once feasibility studies on agricultural, technological, and aeronautical development and sustainability assessment are complete, the project will also assess the existing refining facilities in order to identify the Romanian production capability.
"This is the first European based value chain project bringing together farmers, oil-refiners, and an airline to spearhead the commercialization of sustainable bio-fuel production," says Paul Nash, Airbus head of new energies. "The Romanian Camelina Value Chain will help us further verify the sustainability and economic viability of producing bio-kerosene."
Airbus will support the fuel approval processes, and lead in assessing the effect on the aircraft systems and engines. The consortium will work together with the Bucharest University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine's Centre of Biotechnology (BIOTEHGEN) on the sustainable agricultural phase of the project regarding the camelina plantations, harvesting, and oil production.
TAROM is leading the consortium which includes Honeywell's UOP, CCE (Camelina Company Espa'a), and Airbus. Honeywell's UOP is applying its aviation bio-fuel refining technology, CCE is contributing its knowledge on camelina agronomy, including technologies on camelina growth, agricultural monitoring networks, and plant science. Airbus is providing technical and project management expertise and is sponsoring the sustainability assessment and life cycle analysis studies.
CCE and BIOTEHGEN are implementing various camelina placement trials at different locations in Romania, with the purpose of assessing sustainability of different production models and soil types, including contaminated soil and uncultivated land, in order to identify the best techniques and genetic material.
A sustainability analysis will be conducted in order to prove the viability of the Romanian camelina value chain.
Bio-kerosene is in the final stage of approval by ASTM in the U.S. to be blended as much as 50 percent with regular jet fuel when used in commercial flights.