Ethihad Airways on 19 January 2014 flew a Boeing 777 plane on a 45-minutes demonstration flight that was powered in part by biofuel. The biofuel was developed in collaboration with a French firm Total. With this exercise, UAE has turned among the countries that have produced and flown on their own aviation biofuel. The biofuel driven flights emits about 50 percent less carbon dioxide that the fossil fuel over its lifecycle.
The initiative to support a sustainable aviation biofuled industry in United Arab Emirates, the Abu-Dhabi based carrier teamed up with Total, US-manufacturer Boeing local refiner Takreer and Masdar research institute.
The biofuel amounted to 10 percent of the fuel in the demonstration flight was also used in the past in similar flight during the Paris airshow. Total partially converted the biofuel from plants which was refined into a jet fuel by government-owned Takreer (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.).
At present, a sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium is being hosted by Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, of which Boeing and Etihad Airways are among the founding partners. The team is researching and developing salt-tolerant plants that will act as the raw material for refining processes, which will be used in production of renewable fuel for the flights of Etihad Airways. The initiative focuses on research and development as well as investments in feedstock production and refining capability in UAE and across the world.
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