China to launch first biofuel flight

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-05-27 09:49
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BEIJING - China will launch its first flight using aviation biofuel this year after signing an agreement with US aviation giant Boeing on Wednesday.

At a signing ceremony for eight green energy deals between China and the US, Boeing agreed to cooperate on the launch with carrier Air China and oil major PetroChina, which will provide the jatropha-based fuel feedstock for the project.

Al Bryant, vice-president of Boeing's research and technology department in China, said the new fuel was expected to be commercially viable within three to five years.

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"We've proven it can be flown and it is a matter of scaling it up to make it commercially viable."

Four test biofuel flights have already been conducted in the United States, and Bryant said China was now the focus of development because "they have made the decision to move faster".

Aviation is responsible for about 2 percent of total global greenhouse emissions, and the entire industry aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 through the use of alternative fuels.

China aims to replace at least 15 percent of total diesel and gasoline consumption with biofuel by 2020.