Brazilian carrier Gol has joined a group of airlines and technology providers to accelerate the development of new and sustainable aviation fuels for commercial use.
The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group is initially focusing on two research projects. One involves a comprehensive investigation into Jatropha curcas as a sustainable fuel source. Specifics of the investigation include its life cycle, CO2 emissions and potential socio-economic effects on growers in developing countries.
A second project is an in-depth examination of algae and the associated fuel production processes to ensure they are in line with sustainability guidelines. The group plans to examine other potential fuel sources in the future.
The group's members adopt the premise that any sustainable biofuel must have an equal or superior performance to kerosene, with reduced CO2 emissions. Other requirements of the group include new biofuels only being produced from renewable sources that minimise effects on biodiversity and do not compete with food or drinking water production.
"This is a major opportunity for GOL to join a select group of aviation companies actively involved in controlling their own future, particularly around fuel and the entire fuel production process, including origin, sustainability and environmental impact", says GOL's technical VP Fernando Rockert de Magalhães.
Other airline members of the group are Air France, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Cargolux, Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, KLM, SAS and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Qantas joined the group earlier this month.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Honeywell subsidiary UOP are affiliates of the group.