China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation’s Sinopec Zhenhai refinery on Sept. 19 obtained a biofuel airworthiness certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The first batch of biofuel will be shipped to Airbus (China). Tianjin factory this month. The fuel, derived from used cooking oil, will then be used for flights across China. It will be the first time that large-scale biofuel will be used in the aviation industry in China.
The airworthiness certificate means that Sinopec can sell the biofuel produced at Sinopec Zhenhai’s refinery to airline operators nationwide. The refinery, located in Zhenhai District of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, has an annual processing capacity of 100,000 tons and adopts Sinopec’s biojet fuel production technology (SRJET) to produce the fuel. The first batch from the plant in June produced around 600 tonnes of biofuel.
“With the airworthiness certificate, Sinopec Zhenhai Refinery can now sell biofuel to the whole civil aviation market, we will continue to develop the market and supply chain to build a complete biofuel industrial chain” said Mo Dingge, CEO of Sinopec Zhenhai Refinery.
China has strict standards for airworthiness certification. Previously, experts from the CAAC Airworthiness Certification Center conducted on-site assessments at Sinopec Zhenhai refinery which covered all stages of operation, including biofuel quality management system, management and the control of the production process, the storage and transport of products and the analysis of samples and testing.
The refinery has already obtained the world’s first RSB sustainable aviation fuel certification in Asia issued by Scientific Certification Systems, a key pass for Chinese biofuel to enter the international market.
Compared to traditional petroleum-based aviation kerosene, biofuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 50% over the life cycle.
Sinopec is committed to advancing the development of China’s biojet fuel industry. It developed its SRJET technology in 2009 and produced biofuel in December 2011 which was successfully flight tested at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport in April 2013. After two years of evaluation, experts confirmed that Sinopec’s biofuel was suitable for use in aviation, and the company obtained China’s first biofuel airworthiness certification in 2014.