Biofuel Plane

'Biofuels availability too low, costs not competitive'

The price of jet biofuels is too high to be competitive against traditional fossil jet fuels, according to Gary Woodward, general manager operations/technical and supply at Shell Aviation.

He gave the news to the Aviation Fuel Forum in Prague, Czech Republic, this week.

In order to bring prices down, many more processing plants need to be built and output increased, he said.

“The industry has identified the feedstocks [for biofuels]. However, moving from concept to commercial scale still carries challenges,” Woodward said.

“A lot of the work is about getting processing efficiencies like cost and CO2 related emissions.”

Woodward said some test flights had used vegetable oils, but these were not cheap at US$1,200 per metric tonne compared with US$750 per metric tonne for traditional jet fuel.


He said about 60 commercial-scale plants dedicated to biofuel production would need to be built to meet industry carbon targets and achieve economies of scale.