Air Canada, WestJet Aim to Become Biofuel Superpowers
by Ross Marowits (The Canadian Press/CleanTech Canada) Resource-rich Canada has the proper ingredients to lead the world in lower-carbon aviation fuels, the country’s two largest airlines say — The country’s top airlines say resource-rich Canada has the potential to become a biofuel superpower by transforming forest residue and agricultural crops into energy that can help the industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Canada actually has an opportunity like no other country where it can displace large amounts of fuel and reduce large amounts of carbon,” Mena Salib, Air Canada’s manager of aircraft noise and emissions, said July 25 after speaking to a global biotech conference.
Salib said the industry wants to procure biofuels from local sources instead of transporting it far to meet demand.
“The prize would be technology from Canada, the feedstock is from Canada and it is used by Canadians.”
The country’s largest airline has been part of several flight tests to study biofuels and is ready to add the lower carbon energy blends when they are readily available.
While Air Canada and WestJet don’t have a preference for using farm crops, forest residue or consumer waste, the airlines say the inputs must be sustainable and not displace food or land.
Costs would also have to come down by using government incentives to encourage companies to boost supply.
Geoffrey Tauvette, WestJet’s director of fuel and environment, says while the airline has invested heavily to improve the efficiency of its aircraft, biofuels are the only way to reduce emissions enough to meet global targets. READ MORE
Canadian airlines look to ramp up biofuel use (Canadian Biomass Magazine)