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24 Nov 2015 11:30

Etihad Airways presented its efforts in supporting the development of alternative sustainable aviation fuels to His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Transport Department and member of the Executive Council, Abu Dhabi, and His Excellency Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police and member of the Executive Council, during the airline’s UAE Innovation Week activities. 

As part of a tour of the Innovation Centre, Linden Coppell, Etihad Airways’ Head of Sustainability, emphasised the airline’s continued commitment to driving the development of sustainable alternative fuel for aviation in Abu Dhabi. This includes the Etihad Airways-led BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability initiative, established to engage with a broad range of stakeholders in developing a complete supply chain in Abu Dhabi for alternative aviation fuel.

An update was provided on the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, the Masdar Institute-led group, whose members include Etihad Airways, Boeing, Takreer, GE and Safran. The focus of the Consortium is the research and development of potential feedstock from which to make alternative fuel. The flagship project is the ‘integrated seawater energy and agriculture system’ designed to grow a saltwater tolerant plant using irrigation water from seawater fish farming operations. The plant biomass and the oil seeds from the plant can both be converted into fuel.

Ms Coppell said: “We are pleased to have this opportunity to showcase our biofuel commitments. The integrated system utilising fish waste to feed the plants that can be turned into fuel is truly innovative. It enhances food production by supporting fish farming in a sustainable way and all without the need for freshwater, which is so scarce in our region.”

The integrated seawater energy and agriculture system pilot facility at Masdar City is currently being constructed. This will allow the system operations and feasibility to be better understood before scaling up to a 200 hectare demonstration facility in three to five years.

The video that summarises the benefits of the integrated seawater energy and agriculture system can be viewed here.

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