Companies team up with Abu Dhabi over green jet fuel
Monday 18 January 2010
Boeing, Etihad Airways and Honeywell’s UOP have signed up with an Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle to develop green jet fuel from “pickle weed”.
The plan is for an initial 20-hectare site on the coast of the Emirate where sea water will be used to farm shellfish, which in turn will provide fertiliser to grow Salicornia – or pickle weed - which can be harvested.
The oil from the Salicornia seeds can then be refined to produce biofuel, while the left over seed meal can be used for animal feed, and the straw burned to make electricity. From the pickle weed meadows, the saltwater will flow on to feed mangrove forests to sequester further carbon. The process will also produce fresh water.
The seawater farming concept has been tested in Eritrea and Mexico, but the five-year project led by Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi’s clean technology post-graduate research body will scale it up and look for commercial applications.
“We want to be as aggressive as we can in moving from a pilot scale,” John Perkins, provost at Masdar Institute, said. “We hope that in three to five years we will begin to see commercial exploitation of this technology.”
Biofuels are at a very early stage of development. Hydrocarbon-rich Gulf states like Abu Dhabi hope that sponsoring early-stage development of biofuels will fill the gap when the oil runs out. And the airline industry is pushing hard to shed its image as the enemy of the climate, including an International Air Transport Association target to reach carbon neutral growth by 2020. But the technology is at an early stage and demonstrators exist only on a tiny scale compared with potential global demand.
One of the biggest issues is the amount of land required to grow the feedstocks, and being sure not to steal land away from food cultivation. Abu Dhabi’s pickle weed project will be built on entirely arid land, with little or no biodiversity and no fresh water. “When you look at land use and compare it with petroleum then it can be so scary it becomes a cause of inaction,” said Jennifer Holmgren, a vice president at Honeywell’s OUP, a supplier to the refinery industry. “But we are looking at regional solutions, relevant for the local environment, and we are using land that is not in use today.”
The development agreement between Boeing and Abu Dhabi comes just a week after a similar biofuels research programme was launched between rival Airbus and nearby Qatar.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
iJobs Money & Business
£12 - £15 per hour: Cameron Kennedy Recruitment: Excellent opportunity to join...
£400 per hour: Orgtel: Technical Business Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £400pd...
£38000 - £42000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: Required skills:Previo...
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...