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Aerospace industry reacts to Policy Exchange report on aviation biofuels

SBAC : 22 July, 2009  (Company News)
Matthew Knowles, spokesman for the Society of British Aerospace Companies, said 'This report is a welcome contribution to an important debate in which the aviation industry has already delivered a great deal of research results. The aerospace industry encourages the development of sustainable biofuels from second and third generation feedstocks such as jatropha, algae or biomass waste that do not impact on agricultural land. They could make a significant contribution to reducing emissions from aviation, currently standing at around 2 per cent of global man-made CO2 emissions.
'A conservative view would assume that lower carbon sustainable fuel blends will be deployed from 2020, reaching full market penetration by 2030, at which time a 10 per cent reduction in life cycle CO2 emissions will be achieved, relative to 100% kerosene. This 10 per cent reduction in CO2 will apply on a fleet-wide basis beyond 2030.

'Alternative fuels are not the whole solution to reducing aviation's small but growing impact on the environment but they are one of a basket of measures. They will deliver the UK aviation industry's Sustainable Aviation CO2 roadmap, that will see a threefold rise in passenger demand to 2050 while CO2 emissions fall back to 2000 levels by 2050. In this way we do not put all our eggs in one basket - instead we are also delivering innovative solutions through new aircraft design, use of new materials and engines as well as better use of new air traffic management systems. There is still some way to go, and there are a number of challenges still to be addressed but progress is encouraging and alternative fuels may well be the best answer in meeting these challenges in the mid to long term.

'In order to have any significant impact by 2050, sustainable fuels will need to be compatible with existing engine, Airframe and fuel supply systems and infrastructure. The performance characteristics should also be equivalent to or better than those of current aviation fuel. These are the challenges that the industry is currently working on.'
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