China National Petroleum Corp, Asia's largest oil producer, has delivered 15 tons of jatropha oil to help Air China schedule the country's maiden biofuel-powered test flight for later this year.
The delivery confirms that CNPC now has the ability to produce biofuel from non-grain feedstocks and help clean up the environment by reducing carbon emissions, the company noted on its website.
Air China is the nation's flagship international carrier and intends to operate a trans-Pacific demonstration flight partially powered by biofuel in the second half of 2011.
Air China, based in Beijing, is expected to use a Boeing 747 powered by Pratt & Whitney engines for the test flight but no other details have been provided, including the cities between which the test flight will operate.
The demonstration is significant as China is on its way to becoming the world's largest aviation market and is aggressively researching and promoting alternative fuels both to clean up its environment and curb growing the nation’s increasing reliance on imported oil and natural gas by providing a domestically produced alternative.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration intends to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent by the end of 2020 as compared to 2005 levels.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com