banner

Boeing andSAA announced today that SA farmers will soon harvest their first crop of energy-rich tobacco plants, a step towards sustainable aviation biofuel.
1838 Views

Boeing, SAA Look to First Harvest of Energy-Rich Tobacco to Make Sustainable Aviation Biofuel


Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) announced today that South African farmers will soon harvest their first crop of energy-rich tobacco plants, an important step towards using the plants to make sustainable aviation biofuel.

Boeing and SAA, along with partners SkyNRG and Sunchem SA, also officially launched Project Solaris, their collaborative effort to develop an aviation biofuel supply chain with a nicotine-free tobacco plant called Solaris. In Limpopo province, company representatives and industry stakeholders visited commercial and community farms where 123 acres (50 hectares) of Solaris have been planted.

Oil from the plant’s seeds may be converted into bio-jet fuel as early as next year, with a test flight by SAA as soon as practicable.

“SAA continues to work towards becoming the most environmentally sustainable airline in the world and is committed to a better way of conducting business,” said Ian Cruickshank, Environmental Affairs Specialist, SAA Group. “The impact that the biofuel program will have on South Africans is astounding: thousands of jobs mostly in rural areas, new skills and technology, energy security and stability and macro-economic benefits to South Africa, and of course, a massive reduction in the amount of CO2 that is emitted into our atmosphere.”

“It is very exciting to see early progress in South Africa towards developing sustainable aviation biofuel from energy-producing tobacco plants,” said J. Miguel Santos, managing director for Africa, Boeing International. “Boeing strongly believes that our aviation biofuel collaboration with South African Airways will benefit the environment and public health while providing new economic opportunities for South Africa’s small farmers. This project also positions our valued airline customer to gain a long-term, viable domestic fuel supply and improve South Africa’s national balance of payments.”

The farm visits followed the announcement in August that Boeing, SAA and SkyNRG were collaborating to make aviation biofuel from the Solaris plant, which was developed and patented by Sunchem Holding. If the test farming in Limpopo is successful, the project will be expanded in South Africa and potentially to other countries. In coming years, emerging technologies are expected to increase aviation biofuel production from the plant’s leaves and stems.

Sustainable aviation biofuel made from Solaris plants can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by 50 to 75 percent, ensuring it meets the sustainability threshold set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). Airlines have conducted more than 1,600 passenger flights using aviation biofuel since the fuel was approved for commercial use in 2011.

Boeing is the industry leader in global efforts to develop and commercialize sustainable aviation biofuel. In addition to its collaboration in Southern Africa, Boeing has active biofuel development projects in the United States, Middle East, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Brazil and Australia.

Source: Aviation.ca 

Recently Published

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 2.45.24 PM
»

Air transport supports 490,000 jobs and contributes $12bn in GDP for SA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released new data ...

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.18.56 PM
»

Gold rises as oil price slump boosts safe haven demand

BENGALURU – Gold prices rose for a second straight day on Thursday ...

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.10.00 PM
»

Should you join the charge and buy an electric car?

Green motoring is becoming financially attractive thanks to a drop in ...

logo (1)
»

Charting a new vision for energy efficiency

As part of its rebranding, the Southern African Energy Efficiency ...

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 3.16.20 PM
»

Polyco Launches a Movement to Make Waste Work

About 177,000 tonnes of polyolefin plastics, such as milk and ...

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 9.48.29 AM
»

Green Building Council South Afica inspires South Africans to connect with nature on World Environment Day

The Green Building Council SA (GBCSA) is celebrating World ...

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 2.29.26 PM
»

South Africa produces 108 million tons of waste per year

FOURWAYS – South Africa’s recycling and economic development ...

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 12.20.58 PM
»

Miners brace for unveiling of strict new charter in South Africa

Ashake-up to the mining code in South Africa could have a ...

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 11.49.40 AM
»

BMW just unveiled the sleek electric motorcycle of the future

Ready to commute in style? BMW just unveiled a futuristic, ...