EADS and A*STAR's ICES to Collaborate on Biofuels
A*STAR's Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) is entering into a collaborative project with EADS to investigate the conversion of algae oil to kerosene for jet fuel.
The objective of this 12 month collaboration is to assess the potential for microalgae to be a renewable source of fuel for aircraft and to investigate the conversion of algae oil to kerosene for use as jet fuel.
Plant derived biofuels can be considered as renewable fuel since plants 'fix' atmospheric carbon dioxide as they grow, which is then released when the biofuel is combusted. There is no net contribution to greenhouse gas emissions over the long term, unlike the combustion of conventional fossil fuels. However, the area productivity of most of the traditional plants used as bioenergy crops is too low to be a viable source of the feedstock used for making biofuel.
Microalgae are much more efficient than plants at converting solar energy and carbon dioxide into fixed biomass. This brings the possibility of using microalgae in renewable production of hydrocarbon fuels that is not in competition with food production for scarce land resources.