Boeing, Embraer to launch Brazil research center for aviation biofuels

Boeing and Embraer will open a joint research center to advance the sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, the companies announced on Monday.

Under a memorandum of understanding, the two companies will perform joint biofuel research, as well as fund and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. 

The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in a supply chain for sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil, such as feedstock production and processing technologies. 

The companies' biofuel research center will be located in Sao Jose dos Campos Technology Park.

"Boeing is working aggressively around the world to expand the supply of sustainable aviation biofuel and reduce aviation's carbon emissions," said Julie Felgar, managing director of environmental strategy and integration for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. 

"With our joint biofuel research center, Boeing and Embraer are making a strong commitment toward a successful, sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil," she added.

In 2013, Boeing, Embraer and the Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa of the State of Sao Paulo (FAPESP) completed an action plan – Flightpath to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil – that identified gaps in a potential biofuel supply chain. The joint research between Boeing and Embraer will help address those gaps, according to company officials.

"Brazil has tradition in the area of alternative fuels and enormous potential yet to be explored in bioenergy research,' said Mauro Kim, Embraer's executive vice president of engineering and technology.

When produced sustainably, aviation biofuel emits 50% to 80% lower carbon emissions through its lifecycle than petroleum jet fuel, according to company officials. Globally, more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been conducted since the fuel was approved for use in 2011.

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