The aviation industry is committed to reducing its environmental impact and has established the ambitious goals to reach carbon neutral growth by 2020 and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% (from 2005 levels) by 2050. Currently, the aviation industry generates approximately 2% of man-caused carbon dioxide emissions; it is a small but growing share that is projected to reach 3% by 2030.
BOEING and EMBRAER, as leading aviation companies committed to a more sustainable future, have joined efforts to support initiatives to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions derived from air transportation. These emissions represent an important global concern in the 21st century, and the growing aviation industry will need to find ways to reduce its contribution, particularly in substituting fossil fuels by sustainable biofuel.
Airlines are doing their part as well. Globally, they have created the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), an organization focused on accelerating the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation biofuels and representing about 30% of commercial jet fuel demand.
Brazil is internationally recognized for its long experience of using biomass for energy purposes beginning with wood, sugarcane ethanol, and biodiesel. Modern bioenergy represents around 30% of the Brazilian energy matrix, and has a long track record reconciling biofuel production, food security and rural development. Much of what Brazil has done in the bioenergy area was accomplished by long-term policies and investment in research.
In this context, BOEING, EMBRAER and FAPESP initiated this project to conduct a national assessment of the technological, economic and sustainability challenges and opportunities associated with the development and commercialization of sustainable biofuel for aviation in Brazil. UNICAMP was selected for the coordination of this study, with the charter to lead a highly qualified, multi-disciplinary research team.