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Boeing and GOL team up to advance aviation biofuels in Brazil

US aircraft maker and Brazil airline collaborate for long-term development of a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in BRIC country

Aircraft over biofuel crops
The Boeing and GOL partnership aims to increase the supply of sustainable aviation biofuels in Brazil

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and Brazilian airline GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes are working together to speed the research, development and approval of new sources of sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil. The collaboration will support GOL's plans to use the lower-carbon jet fuel on more flights during upcoming major sporting events. It will also benefit long-term development of a new sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, Boeing has said.

The aviation biofuel news also follows GOL signing a deal with Brazil's Amyris to pave the way for renewable-fuelled jet flights in 2014.

Paulo Kakinoff, chief executive officer for GOL, said: "Boeing's focus on fuel efficiency helps us all operate in a more sustainable fashion, and the expansion of our partnership with this new project will further advance the effort to expand biofuel use in Brazil. It also will serve as an example to the world of what is possible today and in years to come."

Van Rex Gallard, vice president of sales for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, added: "Boeing is very pleased to work with GOL on this key project to advance the use and availability of biofuels. As Brazil's leading low-cost carrier, GOL is showing great leadership in its efforts to conduct lower-carbon flights."

GOL plans to use sustainable biojetfuel on 200 flights during major sporting event in Brazil in 2014. GOL also aims to incorporate aviation biofuel into 20 per cent of its flights during major sporting event taking place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Boeing said it will work with GOL to identify and select the most promising feedstocks and refining technologies and then will play a leading role in the approval process for new fuel pathways to ensure the fuel meets safety and performance standards.

An aviation biofuel industry
The agreement between Boeing and GOL is a significant new step in efforts to advance an aviation biofuel industry in Brazil. In October at Brazil's Aviator's Day, GOL conducted the BRIC country's first commercial biofuel flight in a Boeing 737-800. The aircraft was powered in part by sustainable aviation biofuel made from waste cooking oil and blended by Petrobras, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Following the flight, aviation industry stakeholders including GOL and Boeing, announced a national effort called the Brazilian Biojetfuel Platform to establish a sustainable biojetfuel industry with research and development in several regions of the country. If the platform is successful, Brazil, which has already established a biofuel industry, could be the first nation to establish a sustainable aviation biofuel industry from biomass production to flight, Boeing said.