Embraer and Boeing to open joint research centre for biofuel

Boeing and Embraer are to open a joint research centre for sustainable aviation biofuels in Brazil with the goal of developing full industrialisation.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, the two companies will perform joint biofuel research, as well as fund and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in a supply chain for sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil, such as feedstock production and processing technologies. The companies’ biofuel research center will be located in São José dos Campos Technology Park.

“Boeing is working aggressively around the world to expand the supply of sustainable aviation biofuel and reduce aviation’s carbon emissions,” commented Julie Felgar, managing director of environmental strategy and integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With our joint biofuel research centre, Boeing and Embraer are making a strong commitment toward a successful, sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.”

“Embraer is committed in supporting the development of sustainable biofuels for aviation and the joint efforts with Boeing will undoubtedly contribute to the company continuing to be in the forefront of research in this area,” added Mauro Kern, executive vice-president, engineering and technology, Embraer. “Brazil has tradition in the area of alternative fuels and enormous potential yet to be explored in bioenergy research.”

In 2013, Boeing, Embraer and the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP) completed an action plan – Flightpath to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil – that identified gaps in a potential biofuel supply chain. The joint research between Boeing and Embraer will help address those gaps.

When produced sustainably, aviation biofuel emits 50%-80% lower carbon emissions through its lifecycle than petroleum jet fuel. Globally, more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been conducted since the fuel was approved for use in 2011.

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