Salty Plants for Clean Skies
“As the leading research facility in the region, we are committed to the production of biofuels, clean energy and sustainable technologies to reduce CO2 emissions.”
DR ARIF SULTAN AL HAMMADIE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF KHALIFA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
“This groundbreaking research marks the beginning of the use of clean fuel for the aviation industry, created via a sustainable production chain,” says Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadie, Executive Vice President at Khalifa University. “This makes us an important contributor to a project that supports the strategic aims of the United Arab Emirates in the fields of energy and nutrition.”
Al Hammadie announced that, following the success of the maiden flight, the plantation will be expanded to 200 hectares as part of the next phase of the research, in order to increase the yield of biofuel.
For Sean Schwinn, Vice President of Strategy and Market Development at aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the Etihad flight is “a milestone that will be of substantial benefit to aviation and the world.” The new technology will help to transform coastal deserts into new, productive farmland and could support both food security and clean air.
The use of eco-friendly kerosene alternatives is, however, nothing new. As early as 2011, the German Lufthansa Group was carrying out pioneering work. As part of the “BurnFAIR – potential for alternative fuels in operational use” project, it was the first airline worldwide to test biofuels in regular operation for six months. At the time, however, only one engine was partly powered with biofuels.
By using eco-friendly fuel, the aviation industry aims to put an end to the increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, and by 2050, reduce them to half of the level in 2005.
Text by Behrend Oldenburg
Photos by Boeing, Etihad Airways, Khalifa University