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Jet Fuel Derived From Used Cooking Oil Certified Airworthy for Large-Scale Production in China


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A Chinese petroleum company just obtained an airworthiness certificate for their new biological jet fuel made of used cooking oil.

It will be the first time that large scale production of bio jet fuel will serve the aviation industry in China after the first patch was sent to Airbus Tianjin on September 19th. 

The airworthiness certificate means that Sinopec can sell the bio-jet fuel produced at Sinopec Zhenhai Refinery to aviation operators nationwide.

Aviation is one of the last remaining transportation sectors that still has no decisive alternative to fossil fuels. Western companies are also trialing bio-based fuels, including cooking oil.

“With the airworthiness certificate, Sinopec can now sell bio-jet fuel to the entire civil aviation market, we will continue to expand the market and supply chain to build a full industry chain of bio-jet fuel,” said Mo Dingge, CEO of Sinopec Zhenhai Refinery.

The refinery has an annual designed processing capacity of 100,000 tons and adopts Sinopec’s bio jet fuel production technology (SRJET) to produce the fuel. The plant’s first batch in June produced around 600 tons.

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Compared to traditional petroleum-based aviation kerosene, bio jet fuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 50% throughout the entire lifecycle.

China has strict standards for airworthiness certification, as in order to operate in the air space and runways of other countries, they must reach the same standards of safety as the other major air traffic bodies like FAA in the U.S., or EASA, in Europe.

Beforehand, experts from the Airworthiness Certification Center of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) conducted on-site evaluations at the Refinery that covered all stages of operation, including production, quality assurance, and testing.

RELATED: An Airbus Jumbo Jet Just Completed Two Flights Powered by Cooking Oil

Sinopec was testing used cooking oil jet fuel back in 2011, and the refinery has already obtained Asia’s first global sustainable aviation fuel certification issued by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, a key pass for China’s bio jet fuel to enter the international market.

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