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New macroalgae collaboration for jet fuel

April 13, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Airbus Group, in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich, built the world's first facility of its kind for the cultivation of and research into algae for jet fuel, opened in October of 2015. Photo: Airbus Group

Airbus Group, in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich, built the world’s first facility of its kind for the cultivation of and research into algae for jet fuel, opened in October of 2015. Photo: Airbus Group

AMemorandum of Agreement has been signed by Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), Airbus Group, University of Malaya, University Malaysia Terengganu, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, for an 18-month research and technology collaboration project titled: “Offshore Cultivation of Tropical Macroalgae for the Production of Aviation Jet Fuel.”

This collaboration is aligned to AMIC’s commitment to Sustainable Aviation, and seeks to catalyze the development of sustainable bio-jet fuel in Malaysia. AMIC’s activities are part of Airbus Group’s worldwide action on Sustainable Aviation.

Currently, the aviation industry contributes between 2 to 3% of global man-made CO2 emissions annually. The aviation industry is targeting a carbon neutral growth status by 2020, to be achieved through four pillars of innovation: product technology, operations, air traffic management, and sustainable fuel.

This project seeks to lay the foundations for a pioneering industry as part of the fuel supply value chain. University of Malaya will utilize its expertise, first in macroalgae, ocean environment, physical and chemical processes and analysis; and second, in nanotechnology, catalysis, fuel processing and conversion, and biofuel analysis.

University Malaysia Terengganu will focus on design, engineering, and deployment of an offshore cultivation system for the tropical macroalgae. The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus will design and model techno-economics and the assessment of scenarios. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia will assess the social-environmental impact of rolling out and development such an industry in Malaysia.

AMIC, together with Airbus Group, will ensure the research is in line with aviation standards and requirements, and will assess the overall commercial viability of the technology.

“We are ideally placed to contribute our expertise and experience in ground-breaking research in the area of aerospace and we are looking forward to working closely with such outstanding partners,” said Professor Christine Ennew, CEO and Provost of UNMC. “This project fits well with our aim to use our research expertise to address global challenges in the area of environmental sustainability.”

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