Qantas works with Solazyme to cut greenhouse gas emissions

11 Feb 2011

Qantas today announced the launch of its sustainable fuel strategy, collaborating with US-based renewable energy company Solazyme to discover opportunities for algae-based sustainable aviation fuel.

Qantas and Solazyme will work together over the next 12 months to develop a business case for the introduction of Solazyme’s algae-derived sustainable fuel technology in Australia.

Qantas already has a similar arrangement with the Solena Group for waste-based sustainable fuel.

This new feasibility study is part of the Qantas Group’s long-term strategy to help accelerate the commercialisation of ‘drop-in’ alternative jet fuels in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Qantas Group is conducting a detailed global review of clean technology fuel companies to find the best partnership opportunities. Solazyme and Solena are highly credited for developing clean energy strategies for major businesses.

Importance of sustainable jet fuels

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he was excited about the collaboration.

“Developing sustainable jet fuels is vitally important for the global aviation industry and for the Qantas Group. The costs and environmental impacts associated with traditional jet fuel mean it is imperative that we push hard now for the commercialisation of alternative fuel sources.”

“Over the next year, we look forward to working with both companies and with other important government and private sector stakeholders to build the case for sustainable jet fuel production in Australia. We believe this is important not just for Qantas but for the Australian economy as a whole, given the global emergence of green technologies and their potential to drive growth and create jobs.”

Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme, said Qantas was focusing on supporting the commercialisation of renewable, sustainable aviation fuels.

“Through this alliance, we hope to use Solazyme’s technology platform to help provide the Australian market with infrastructure to produce renewable aviation fuel,” Wolfson said.

“We also believe this agreement is a significant step forward in the commercialisation of Solajet.”

Dr Robert Do, chairman and chief executive of Solena Fuels, said Qantas design the plants to be carbon neutral and self-sustaining.