Airbus has joined with Virgin Australia in studying the possibility of producing sustainable jet fuel out of eucalyptus trees.
The consortium, which also includes the Future Farm Industries CRC, aims to have an alternative fuel pilot plant operating in Australia within the next year. The effort is focusing on a thermal conversion process known as Pyrolysis that would refine feedstock from eucalyptus mallee trees into aviation biofuel.
Airbus will focus on getting Pyrolysis-based fuels approved by the world’s fuels standards authorities, which do not currently recognise such fuels, Airbus said in a statement.
The mallee trees will be grown in Western Australia’s wheat belt.