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Gutter Oil To Jet Fuel? Boeing Begins Biofuel Development

October 23, 2012

Aerospace and biofuel development is hardly a new pairing. Lockheed Martin (LMT :NYSE) has been busy developing green jet fuel while Honeywell (HON :NYSE) is currently licensing its biofuel development process to other companies.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Boeing (BA :NYSE) has announced that they are working on a biofuel for jets. But how they are doing it is fairly interesting.

Instead of using sugar, green algae, or switchgrass, Boeing will be developing its fuel in China using “gutter oil”, the oil residual from cooking.

Working with Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), Boeing will be seeking to transform the 29 million tons of cooking oil consumed by the Chinese into aviation fuel.

Boeing states that it consumes 20 million tons of jet fuel each year in China so if it can find a way to efficiently convert gutter oil into aviation fuel, they may be on to something.

Of course if the Chinese retire there woks and move towards a healthier way of cooking, Boeing might have to look towards the more “traditional” processes of developing green jet fuel.

Boeing should get credit for creativity and ingenuity, but its green jet fuel solution epitomizes the biofuel industry that is still searching for a solution that can ultimately replace fossil fuels.

Shares of Boeing were down 1.06 percent in afternoon trading. 

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