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Canada could lead way in aviation biofuels

October 12, 2012, Vancouver, BC – The future is already underway with just a few snags, according to panelists at `Flying Green: Why Airlines See a Bright Future in Biofuels’, a plenary at the Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.


October 18, 2012
By Robin Brunet

Topics

October 12, 2012, Vancouver, BC – The future is already underway with
just a few snags, according to panelists at `Flying Green: Why Airlines
See a Bright Future in Biofuels’, a plenary at the Pacific Rim Summit on
Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.

Moderator Ross MacFarlane, senior advisor of business partnerships for
Climate Solutions, noted that political and economic instability of
fossil fuels is such that “the profitability and even the survivability”
of airline companies is at stake, and that while great strides have
been made in biofuel test usage, “we now need to set up a feedstock
chain from end to end.”

Sean Newsum, project manager for Boeing Commercial Airlines, stressed
that drop-in biofuels are crucial to minimizing switching costs in his
industry. Warren Lampitt, general manager of technical programs for Air
Canada, agreed and added that “we need a feedstock chain that assures
economically sustainable yields – because we can’t afford to pay
premiums for biofuel, not if we are to fly in meaningful volumes.”
Lampitt also called for consistent biofuel qualification standards.

Steve Fabijanski, chief executive officer of Agrisoma, told delegates
that his company may be a solution to the aviation industry’s
challenges. Agrisoma’s Resonance biofuel, a derivative of the brassica
carinata oil seed, grows in harsh conditions; it’s currently being
harvested on 6,700 acres in 27 North American locations and out-yields
all other alternatives. “With Resonance, Canada’s great rail system and
processing and storage facilities, this country can be a leader in
making biofuel viable on a commercial scale,” he said.

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