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Boeing Begins Biofuel Project with Used Cooking Oil

Boeing Begins Biofuel Project  with Used Cooking OilBoeing Begins Biofuel Project  with Used Cooking Oil

Boeing and the Chinese airplane manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp. (COMAC) are working together on a biofuel project that would turn China’s rivers of used cooking fat, known as “gutter oil,” into nearly two billion liters of jet fuel a year, the Oil Price reported.

Boeing and COMAC have set up a plant in Hangzhou, in southeastern China, capable of converting about 63,000 gallons of gutter oil into 1.8 billion gallons of jet fuel a year, according to a statement by Boeing.

The plant will use a process developed by the Hangzhou Energy & Engineering Technology Co. to clean the waste oil and convert it into jet fuel at a rate of 160 gallons a day. To promote the effort, the two airplane manufacturers have opened a demonstration facility in Hangzhou called the China-US Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project.

On a scientific level, the project aims “to assess the technical feasibility and cost of producing higher volumes of biofuel,” the Boeing statement said. On an environmental level, it quoted Ian Thomas, president of Boeing China, as saying the joint project reflects “progress on environmental challenges that no single company or country can solve alone.”

According to a Xinhua article, biofuel is not only sustainable, but when ignited emits between 50 percent and 80 percent less carbon than fossil fuels. As a result, it argued, converted gutter oil can help China meet its environmental goals while helping to grow its aviation industry.

China has a population of around 1.3 billion people and most traditional Chinese cooking requires oil. China has a problem disposing of so much used oil, which has led to public health issues. Used oil often contains toxins and is widely considered unsanitary.

 

Financialtribune.com