[Malaysia] The aviation community has committed itself towards a more sustainable aviation world by cutting down its emissions, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing its carbon footprint. This Memorandum of Agreement is part of that sustainability drive, focusing on the development of alternative source of feedstock for fuel. This research and technology collaboration brings together Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), Airbus Group, University of Malaya, University Malaysia Terengganu, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, for a project titled “Offshore Cultivation of Tropical Macro-Algae for the Production of Aviation Jet Fuel”.
This collaboration is aligned to AMIC’s, commitment to Sustainable Aviation and seeks to catalyse the development of sustainable bio-jet fuel here in Malaysia. AMIC’s Sustainable Aviation activities are part of Airbus and Airbus Group’s worldwide action on Sustainable Aviation. Currently, the aviation industry contributes between 2 to 3% of global man-made CO2 emissions, or 705 million tonnes. The aviation industry is targeting a carbon neutral growth status by 2020, having a solid track record so far in reducing its emission. This is achieved through four pillars of innovation, namely, product technology, operations, air traffic management, and lastly, sustainable fuel.
AMIC is leading the way in sustainable aviation jet fuel research in the region. Macro-algae, or more commonly known as seaweed, is a known potential source of feedstock for bioenergy and biofuel.
Harnessing the expertise from four reputable universities in Malaysia, this project seeks to lay the foundations for a pioneering industry as part of the fuel supply value chain. University of Malaya will utilise its expertise, first in macro-algae, ocean environment, physical and chemical processes and analysis; and second, in nanotechnology, catalysis, fuel processing and conversion, and biofuel analysis. University Malaysia Terengganu will focus on design, engineering, and deployment of an offshore cultivation system for the tropical macro-algae. The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus will leverage on its proven track record of design and modeling of techno-economics, and the assessment of scenarios.
And last but not least, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia will assess the social-environmental impact of rolling out and development such an industry here in Malaysia. AMIC, together with Airbus Group, will ensure the research is in line with aviation standards and requirements, and will assess the overall commercial viability of the technology.
The signing of this MOA will mark the start of an 18 months journey for the entire consortium, with a project delivery to the customer, Airbus Group, in 2017.
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