An initiative to produce environmentally friendly aviation jet fuel in Abu Dhabi is progressing. Construction on a one-acre trial farm located in Abu Dhabi that will grow the fuel producing plant, will be finished in the next three to four months, a Boeing executive said on Tuesday.
Boeing, together with Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s Takreer, the Masdar Institute and Total, has been working since January 2014 to develop biofuel in the emirate.
Julie Felgar, Managing Director, Environmental Strategy and Integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters on a video call “a small pilot project” will start when construction on the test farm is completed in three to four months.
“We’ll take one year to 18 months to run through a couple of harvest rotations and see what the opportunities are in being able to scale that up,” she said.
The Abu Dhabi project is one of 19 biofuel ventures Boeing is involved in around the world, developing jet aviation fuel based on biological processes like agriculture or waste as a means to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
In Abu Dhabi, a halophyte plant called salicornia bigelovii, that generates oil that can be used to make the biofuel, will be planted in the test farm.