By Yang Jian | 2012-12-13 | ONLINE EDITION
MAJOR European airlines will seek biofuel resources in China, including swill oil and certain fruit nuts, to make alternative fuel, senior airline executives told an aviation industry summit in Shanghai today.
The Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are interested in China's biofuel resources and is seeking cooperation from local energy companies, Bertrand Lebel, executive vice president of Organization and Sustainable Development of Air France, told the China Aviation Industry Summit.
"We have a strong ambition for the Chinese market where only 2 percent of waste cooking oil is recycled, compared with 70 percent in the Netherlands," said Dirk Kronemeijer, managing director of SkyNRG, a major jet biofuel supplier to more than 15 carriers.
The waste cooking oil contains a large amount of animal fat that can be processed into bio kerosene after refining and chemical reactions. After further processing, its fuel value will qualify to power jet planes. Aircraft using the biofuel generate about 40 percent less emissions.
In Shanghai, waste oil collected from restaurants has reached 68 tons a day, said the city's food safety watchdog.
The world's major aircraft makers have signed deals with Chinese companies to produce biofuel. Airbus signed a deal with Chinese biofuel producer ENN last month to jointly explore an alternative fuel. Boeing also set up a research venture in China to develop biofuels from algae and oily nuts.
"China may use 12 million tons of aviation biofuel by 2020, or 30 percent of its total consumption of jet fuel," said Li Jian, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
KLM made its first commercial biofuel flight with 171 passengers from Amsterdam to Paris in June 2011, blending biofuel and kerosene half-and-half.
Air Canada also operates flights with jet fuel derived from recycled cooking oil.
In China, a jumbo jet powered by fuel made from nut oil conducted a two-hour test flight in October 2011.