Marking another important step on its alternative fuels roadmap, Airbus has joined forces with Qatar Airways, Qatar Science & Technology Park, and Qatar Petroleum to develop, approve, produce and supply second generation bio-fuels for aviation use.
These partners have established the Qatar Advanced Bio-fuel Platform (QABP), which takes a portfolio approach to advanced bio-fuel development – across supply sources, technologies and geographies. The QABP can be expanded to include additional projects, technologies, investments and partnerships globally.
The main activities of the platform are to devise a detailed implementation plan for production of second generation bio-fuels, as well as an investment strategy and an advanced technology development programme. Ongoing market and strategic analysis also will be performed as part of the initiative.
Bio-fuel is an attractive alternative to standard oil-derived jet fuel because it requires no aircraft or engine modifications. It can also be mixed with kerosene, and used within existing infrastructure. Airbus believes bio-fuels have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions, and that the technology is achievable and sustainable.
Airbus is proactively participating in the effort to obtain approval for alternative and bio-fuels in commercial aviation, and believes that by 2030, some 30 per cent of jet fuel could be bio-fuel.
Initially, Qatar Airways – which has more than 150 Airbus aircraft in service or on order - will be the dedicated end-user of the QABP's bio-fuel projects. With one of the A340-600s currently in its fleet, the carrier successfully conducted the world's first commercial flight powered by a cleaner Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel blend in October 2009 – marking a milestone in alternative fuel development.