Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Japanese aviation industry stakeholders have charted a course to develop sustainable aviation biofuel for flights during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, when millions of people are expected to visit Japan.
The Initiatives for Next Generation Aviation Fuels (INAF) – a consortium of 46 organizations including Boeing, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Japan's government and the University of Tokyo – laid out a five-year "roadmap" to develop biofuel by 2020 as a way to reduce aviation's environmental footprint.
Using sustainably produced biofuel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to conventional petroleum fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
"Boeing is proud to work with Japan's aviation sector, including customers and the Japanese government, to achieve their ambitious goals for developing sustainable aviation biofuel," said George Maffeo, president, Boeing Japan. "Building on our longstanding relationships in Japan, we are committed to help reduce aviation's carbon emissions and its reliance on fossil fuel."
INAF said the Olympics and Paralympics are "the perfect opportunity" for Japan and its airlines to showcase their environmental commitment.
"Developing and using sustainable aviation biofuel is an excellent way for Japan to show its commitment to the environment and technologies that can reduce aviation's environmental impact," said Shinji Suzuki, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Tokyo. "And, as the new aviation biofuel 'roadmap' indicates, Japan is ready to accelerate development and use of sustainable aviation fuels by the 2020 Olympics."
Among the report's conclusions:
Industry, government and academia in Japan need to collaborate to promote the introduction of sustainable aviation biofuel to support Japan's energy security and reduce aviation's greenhouse gas emissions.
Potential feedstocks, or biologically based sources, that could be used to produce sustainable aviation biofuel in Japan include municipal solid waste, plant oils and animal fats, used cooking oil, algae, cellulosic biomass and residues from the wood products industry.
Policy incentives promoting the introduction of next-generation aviation fuels are a prerequisite to success in aviation biofuel use.
INAF was established in May 2014 with the aim of establishing a supply chain for next-generation aviation fuels in Japan. Its roadmap process assessed the entire biofuel supply chain, including procurement of raw materials, production of sustainable aviation fuel, blending biofuel with conventional petroleum jet fuel and how biofuel will be incorporated into an airport's fueling infrastructure.
As part of Boeing's commitment to protect the environment and support long-term sustainable growth for commercial aviation, the company has active biofuel projects on six continents, including in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Africa, China, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia. For more information, visit www.boeing.com/environment.
The INAF report is available here.