The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium was founded by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, together with Etihad Airways, Boeing, and Honeywell UOP to develop a clean, alternative fuel supply for the aviation industry.
The SBRC is currently working to launch the world’s first bioenergy pilot project to use desert land — irrigated by seawater — to sustainably produce bioenergy and food.
The Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System is based upon an integrated, closed-loop system. The technology uses coastal seawater to raise fish and shrimp for food, whose nutrient-rich wastewater then fertilizes plants rich in oils that can be harvested for aviation biofuel production. The plants thrive in arid, desert conditions and don’t require fresh water or arable land to grow.
Lastly, the effluent is diverted into cultivated mangroves before being discharged back into the sea, further removing nutrients and providing carbon storage.
SBRC is planning to pilot test the technology to demonstrate the integrated bioenergy process as a commercially viable and sustainable system for renewable jet fuels with respect to essential food and fuel production, suitable land use, reduced carbon emissions and wastewater cleanup.