17 June 2010
The creation of an aviation biofuel production facility in Brazil will be evaluated by EADS, Eurocopter and BioCombustibles del Chubut under terms of a cooperative agreement signed at this month’s ILA Berlin Air Show.
The accord will benefit from the pioneering work in algae-based biofuels already conducted by EADS and BioCombustibles del Chubut, and it builds on Eurocopter’s growing presence in Brazil.
“EADS understands the importance of working with all elements of the ‘value chain’ in developing biofuels as an alternate to fossil fuels used in aviation,” said EADS Chief Technical Officer Jean Botti. “By teaming with BioCombustibles del Chubut, we will benefit from the company’s unmatched experience in developing microalgae as a source of next-generation biofuels.”
Signing the biofuel agreement are EADS CTO Jean Botti; Marcelo González Machin, the president of BioCombustibles del Chubut; and Didier Renaux, Eurocopter’s Business Engineering Vice President.
“The signature of this agreement is the first step in changing the future of aviation as we know it today,” said Marcelo González Machin, the president of BioCombustibles del Chubut. “Furthermore, through the production of this biofuel, the EADS Group will start a very significant social and productive change worldwide. It will be a revolutionary change, not only for the massive reductions in CO2 emissions that it is to provide, but also for the production system that it will establish.”
“Eurocopter has made the development of more eco-friendly helicopters one of its priorities,” said Didier Renaux, Eurocopter’s Business Engineering Vice President.
“Moreover, the concept of local production of algae biofuel is particularly adapted to helicopter operations, and opens new business opportunities.”
Under terms of the agreement signed at the Berlin Air Show, the team of EADS, Eurocopter and BioCombustibles del Chubut will perform feasibility studies using microalgae farming to produce aviation-grade biofuel. The feasibility of helicopter flight tests with the biofuel is currently under assessment.
A subsequent step could be the development of full-scale biofuel production plant in Brazil based on a confirmation of the technical and economic feasibility of such an operation.