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Aviation

Published on January 24th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan

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Boeing, Etihad Airways, Masdar Institute Halophyte Biofuel Update (Exclusive Videos)

January 24th, 2015 by  


One of the big Masdar sessions at the World Future Energy Summit, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, was a session focused on the halophyte biofuel research CleanTechnica featured in two exclusives pieces last year.

As Dr Alejandro Rios of Masdar Institute called it again today in the press conference, this biofuel development is “truly game-changing” — as far as things look right now.

Within a few months, the Sustainable Biofuels Research Consortium will begin a pilot project on over 20,000 square meters of land in Masdar City. The best summary of this project can be seen in the first video below, and the earlier CleanTechnica interviews with Dr Alejandro Rios and Darrin Morgan of Boeing. However, following the videos below, I’ll write up a quick summary.

First, however, I think it’s useful to add a little context. Key consortium members include Boeing, Etihad Airways, and Masdar Institute. Speaking with both Alejandro and Darrin, it was clear that, aside from the potential climate and environmental benefits of halophyte biofuel, the biofuel would likely burn in the airplane systems in a much better way for those systems, improving performance and efficiency. Furthermore, the idea is that, once it gets up to scale, halophyte biofuel could be more cost-competitive than conventional jet fuel.

If you decided to skip the videos above, here’s a quickie on how the halophyte system will work. Water will be pumped in from the sea and used to grow fish & shrimp. A big problem with such aquaculture is that a tremendous amount of waste is created, and then returned to ocean with no specific treatment! The idea is that this biofuel production process will use aquaculture waste in order to irrigate halophyte plants. The remaining water will then go back through a mangrove wetland to be filtered further before returning to the ocean essentially as it came in. 
 

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.



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