A consortium of local and global companies is behind a move to develop the use of Australia’s gumtrees to produce an aviation biofuel.
The aviation industry, airlines in particular, is becoming increasingly focused on carbon emissions as emissions trading schemes (ETS) are set up around the world, and more and more people take to the skies.
“Innovation and creativity will play enormous roles as part of the transition to a low carbon future,” said Ben Waters, director of ecomagination, GE Australia and New Zealand.
GE announced it was joining Virgin Australia and other partners to research and develop the commercial biofuel.
The focus will be on using a thermo chemical decomposition of organic material, at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen, to covert Mallee eucalypt trees to the biofuel.
“We already invest a huge amount in the development of more efficient and alternative energy sources in the aviation industry and beyond, and we hope to bring a huge amount of knowledge to this partnership,” he said.
A recent CSIRO report estimated the aviation industry could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent, generate more than 12,000 jobs and reduce Australia’s reliance on aviation fuel imports by $2 billion a year over the next 20 years through the adoption of biofuels.
Other members of the consortium include Renewable Oil Corporation, the Future Farm Industries CRC, and Canadian biofuels company, Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation.