Airbus signs MOU with Emerging Fuels Technology

By Airbus Group Inc. | December 08, 2014

Airbus Group Inc. continues its commitment to promote innovation and advance environmentally-friendly aviation initiatives by supporting development of sustainable fuels with the potential of reducing lifecycle carbon emissions. Airbus Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Emerging Fuels Technology Inc. to promote EFT in the commercialization of technologies to produce sustainable fuels for aviation.

"Airbus Group's global position as an innovation leader in the aviation industry enables us to help the sustainable fuels industry to understand the wants, needs and requirements specific to commercial airline markets," said Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Group. "It is good for our industry and good for business -- and most importantly, it's very good for the environment," he said.

A key factor in securing the MOU was the involvement of the Fairmount Companies, which initially brought together the corporate leaders of Airbus Group with those of EFT. "We are grateful to the Fairmount Companies for their valuable input in helping both parties to navigate to this mutually beneficial agreement," McArtor said. 

Sustainable aviation fuels made from biomass, municipal solid waste, natural gas, and other non-fossil feedstock have the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions on a lifecycle basis compared to conventional fuels. EFT's proprietary advanced fixed bed (AFB) Fischer-Tropsch reactor and catalyst system can convert synthesis gas from virtually any carbonaceous feedstock into transportation fuels such as renewable diesel and sustainable jet fuel.

In addition to the MOU with Airbus Group, EFT recently signed a broad cooperation agreement with Black & Veatch, a global leader in the engineering, procurement and construction of energy infrastructures. Under this agreement, B&V will offer its clients the benefit of a technology "wrap" which can provide a range of performance guarantees, in addition to traditional cost and schedule guarantees for projects incorporating EFT's technologies into sustainable fuels facilities. Other aspects of the agreement grant exclusivity to B&V in representing EFT technologies in select markets and applications.

"EFT is very pleased to announce this collaboration with Airbus Group," said Kenneth Agee, president of EFT. "We look forward to interacting with all the stakeholders in the aviation supply chain and believe our relationships with Airbus Group and Black & Veatch will help enable broad global development of sustainable/renewable aviation fuel facilities."

Airbus Group is a driving force in a global effort to establish a sustainable fuel supply roadmap through an ambitious program connecting farmers, refiners and airlines to form regional sustainable aviation fuel value chains. This effort seeks to establish local value chains on every continent to support airlines' ability to refuel aircraft throughout the region. Already, programs have been established in Australia, Brazil, China, the Middle East, Romania and Spain.

In Europe, Airbus Group and other stakeholders are progressing in their work with the European Commission to develop the European Advanced Biofuels Flightpath initiative—a European roadmap for the implementation of sustainable aviation fuels there.

In Canada, Airbus announced a partnership in 2013 with Air Canada and BioFuelNet Canada to evaluate solutions for production of sustainable jet fuel in that country.

Airbus Group's 2014 launch of a sustainable aviation fuels roadmap has led to collaborative projects with airline partners. It has also led to approval of 50 percent blends of biomass-to-liquid (BTL) and hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) fuels on commercial flights. Through May 2014, more than 1,500 commercial flights have been flown with alternative fuels worldwide.

"Our belief is that, with support from regional governments, a significant percentage of all aviation fuel could come from sustainable sources by 2030," said McArtor, "if we can establish adequate supply sources to produce commercial quantities of sustainable aviation fuel."

To learn more about Airbus Group's sustainable fuels roadmap efforts please visit the company’s website.