(ADPnews) - Oct 21, 2010 - Making efforts to commercialise cleaner fuels globally and boost China's potential as biofuel provider, US aerospace giant Boeing (NYSE: BA) is planning to test a commercial-jet biofuel in China by mid-2011.
Speaking with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Boeing's executive Al Bryant said that the China pilot flight is anticipated to be conducted by May or June 2011. The company will partner with Air China Ltd (SHA: 601111) during the programme.
The biofuel, which will be used in the test flight will be based on jatropha, and is expected to be supplied by Chinese oil company PetroChina Co (SHA: 601857). The latter grows jatropha in southern China for aviation use.
The scheduled flight in China would be the company's sixth such flight powered by clean fuels. Boeing first tested a biofuel on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 jet in London in 2008. Since that time, the company has carried out similar tests a few more times, each time experimenting with different types of biofuels on different engines.
Moreover, earlier this year, Boeing and the Chinese government jointly opened a research laboratory in Qingdao and are now looking at expanding the effort to other labs.
According to analysts, the development of jatropha-based biofuels is promising, but on the other hand, commercial mass production and obtaining regulatory approvals for the new jet fuel, still will likely take several years.
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