Boeing, Mexican partners join forces on biofuel research
Boeing, Aeromexico and Mexico's Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA) will collaborate with a biojet program supported by Mexico's Sector Fund for Energy Sustainability to advance research and development of sustainable aviation biofuel in Mexico.
The initiative, announced today and coordinated through the Mexican Bioenergy Innovation Center, will support Mexico’s aviation sector as well as its environmental and socio-economic goals. Executives at Boeing, Aeromexico, ASA and the Potosinian Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (IPICYT) formalized the initiative at a ceremony in Mexico City.
“To support customers and the aviation industry’s long-term growth, Boeing is proud to partner with Aeromexico and many key stakeholders to move Mexico’s sustainable aviation biofuel industry forward,” said Marc Allen, president, Boeing International. “Sustainable jet fuel will play a critical role in reducing aviation’s carbon emissions and will bring a new and innovative industry to Mexico.”
“The success of these efforts would not be possible without the team work of Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA) and our strategic partner Boeing,” said Sergio Allard, Chief of People & Industries Affairs Officer, Aeromexico. “They have been a fundamental part in projects like the first transcontinental biofuel flight in the history of world aviation performed in a Mexico-Madrid route, or the green flights between Mexico and Costa Rica. In Aeromexico, we recognize that conducting a sustainable operation is an everyday commitment. We are ready to assume the challenge and break the myth that you cannot be socially and environmentally responsible and competitive at the same time.”
“In Airports and Auxiliary Services, we are keen to play an active role in implementing this biofuel project, contributing our experience to ensure that the results of this initiative are suitable at Mexico’s airports,” said Jorge Nevarez Jacobo, ASA Business Units Coordinator. “We will participate in this development effort as it is being implemented.”
Through the agreement, IPICYT will lead a broader aviation biofuel development effort involving 17 institutions including Aeromexico and Boeing; nine CONACYT research centers; Mexican companies Pemex, QENER and Tratamientos Reciclados del Sureste; the Mexican Petroleum Institute; Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in United Arab Emirates; and the U.S. Joint BioEnergy Institute.
The Mexican government and participating institutions will fund the effort for four years, aiming to develop a self-sustaining business model. Research will be conducted on biomass sourcing, fuel production, sustainability and lifecycle assessment, and aviation biofuel market development.
Aviation biofuel feedstocks in Mexico are expected to include jatropha, salt-tolerant Salicornia and sewage sludge. The initiative’s projects are expected to meet sustainability criteria established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.
Using sustainably produced biofuel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to conventional petroleum fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
As part of Boeing’s commitment to protect the environment and support long-term sustainable growth for commercial aviation, the company has active biofuel projects on six continents, including in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Southeast Asia.