European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, said it is partnering Honeywell Aerospace, Uop (a Honeywell company), International Aero Engines (IAE) and JetBlue Airways to develop a sustainable, second-generation, bio-fuel for use in commercial aircraft.
It said that the companies would develop technology to convert vegetation and algae-based oils into aviation fuels.
It said that the companies are examining the benefits of jet fuels, which are derived from renewable biomass sources that do not compete with food production or for valuable land and water resources.
This second-generation bio-fuel will be produced using technology developed by Uop, which is a leading developer of technology and products for the refining industry. Uop has developed a process to convert biomass into jet fuel that performs at similar levels to traditional fuels and also meets the stringent specifications for flight.
It said that potential advantages from the development of second-generation bio-fuel would be significant, including reduction in emissions and particulates from the engines, a reduced carbon-footprint, an improved engine cleanliness, reduced contrail formation, as well as overall life-cycle benefits.
Furthermore, the partner companies will also investigate if bio-fuels could be developed, which would increase the payload and range performance of aircraft, reduce fuel consumption and increase the reliability and durability of engines.
Airbus has also been experimenting with jet fuel produced by a gas-to-liquids (GTL) process.
In February this year, an A380 super jumbo, powered by four Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines, became the first commercial aircraft to fly using GTL fuel. The GTL blend fuel was supplied by Shell.
Airbus says it sees GTL as a good precursor to second-generation jet biofuels.