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Asia Minute: Plans to convert used cooking oil to new jet fuel

Boeing Korean Air Delivery
Elaine Thompson
/
AP
Earlier this fall, Korean Air announced it has signed a deal with the oil company Shell to buy their sustainable aviation fuel in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East starting in 2026.

A Thai energy company plans to spend nearly $6 million as an initial investment to make jet fuel from used cooking oil.

It's a joint venture spearheaded by the Bangchak Corporation, which started as a state-owned oil company nearly 40 years ago. Now it is a publicly traded energy conglomerate.

The company says production is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Used cooking oil is one potential ingredient, but research is continuing on a series of possibilities collectively known as Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

Much of that work is being done in Asia. The Japanese trading company, Itochu, has collaboration agreements with several international partners to develop sustainable aviation fuel.

Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines are in various stages of testing and production.

Earlier this fall, Korean Air announced it has signed a deal with the oil company Shell to buy their sustainable aviation fuel in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East starting in 2026.

The raw materials going into that fuel include used cooking oil and industrial waste gas.

Korean Air says the use of such fuel would cut the carbon footprint of fossil-derived aviation fuel by as much as 80%.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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