Canadian company powers world’s first U.S.-Australia bio fuel flight

Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. Press Release | January 29, 2018

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 42 seconds.

Quebec-based Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. is part of an “aviation first.”

Qantas Dreamliner in flight
A Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, similar to this one, was involved in the inaugural green fuel flight. Qantas Image

The company’s oilseed biojet fuel powered the world’s first dedicated transpacific flight by Qantas Airways between Australia and the United States.

It is, in fact, the inaugural green fuel flight of the new Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, scheduled to leave Los Angeles International Airport on Jan. 28, 2018, and arrive 15 hours later in Melbourne, Australia.

To power the trip, Agrisoma’s biojet fuel was to replace 10 per cent of the petroleum jet fuel needed for the flight, making a cleaner fuel blend and reduced emissions.

“This is the beginning of something big,” said Agrisoma CEO Steve Fabijanski. “This 10 per cent represents a pivotal shift in helping airlines like Qantas work toward a 100 per cent carbon neutral growth starting in 2021.”

Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Plan Nord, Pierre Moreau, said the announcement clearly shows Quebec’s leadership in the fight against climate change.

“The measures our government is introducing to support innovative companies and the ingenuity of the Québec people are paving the way for new technological breakthroughs such as the one achieved by Agrisoma, which will revolutionize air transportation. I am especially proud to stand by their side today, as they formalize their partnership with Qantas Airways.”

How it Works

Agrisoma’s biojet fuel is made by harvesting tonnes of Carinata crop, crushing the grain to recover the oil and converting that oil into jet fuel using the same process to make petroleum-derived jet fuel.

The biojet fuel that is made, provides for a very significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, making travel greener and cleaner for the environment.

The Carinata seed is grown by farmers in Australia and then gets crushed by local agricultural infrastructure.

The oil is then sent to bio-refineries for conventional processing into jet fuel.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said it is fitting the airline’s new Dreamliner 787-9 will showcase the future of sustainable aviation.

“The Qantas Dreamliner marks an exciting new era of innovation and travel. The aircraft is more fuel efficient and generates fewer greenhouse emissions than similarly sized-aircraft and today’s flight will see a further reduction on this route, says Webster.

She added the partnership with Agrisoma marks the first step in the development of a renewable jet fuel industry in Australia.

“It is a project we are proud to be part of as we look at ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations.”

Partners in the United States

The seed gets processed using existing agricultural infrastructure then the extracted oil is refined by companies such as Altair Fuels in Paramount, Calif.  Delivery of the fuel to the aircraft is provided by supply partner World Fuel Services from Miami, Fla.

“AltAir is pleased to have refined Agrisoma’s promising new oil into sustainable jet fuel for Qantas’s historic trans-Pacific flight,” said AltAir president Bryan Sherbacow. “Commercially linking these advanced technologies in an integrated supply chain is critical in demonstrating the industry’s current capability to deliver ultra-low carbon intensity fuels to commercial aviation at cost-competitive prices.


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