Sustainable fuels are a hot topic in aviation circles, with Virgin, Thomson Airways, Lufthansa and Air France all hitting the headlines with their biofuel developments. Now it is the turn of Airbus, as it throws its hat into the ring with studies into producing a more sustainable fuel.
Eucalyptus mallee trees, grown in Western Australia’s wheat belt, are sustainably harvested and converted to a feedstock for refining into alternative aviation fuel via a process called Pyrolysis. This indigenous tree helps to return salt-affected land to a productive state, so Airbus said in a statement that planting these trees to produce fuel on a large scale ” is expected to bring a range of environmental and social benefits to farmers and rural communities”.
The role Airbus is to take in this development is to support the approval and certification of the process so that this type of fuel can be used for the first time in commercial aviation.