UWI enters biofuel partnership with global company

CAVE HILL, Barbados: The University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus and BioJet International Ltd. have entered a research and commercial partnership to research and develop the use of affordable and environmentally friendly biofuels.

UWI and BioJet International – a leading global supply chain integrator for renewable jet fuel and related products for the aviation and transportation industries, including renewable jet fuel, Green diesel, feedstock oil, and feedstock co-products – made the announcement yesterday.

As part of the agreement, BioJet will fund research at UWI Cave Hill leading to discoveries and commercialization of biofuels and other renewable energy, and the creation of the UWI/BioJet International Biofuel Research Institute.

An equitable sharing of intellectual property outcomes from research into microalgae for the production of biofuels and derivatives is also part of the agreement, according to a joint statement.

“The partnership is intended to develop UWI-Cave Hill’s capacity for research into renewable energy technologies, whether from plant, waste biomass or algae, as well as new graduate careers in energy biosciences, and those pertinent to the logistics and supply chain management of biofuel distribution,” the statement added.

Principal at the Cave Hill campus, Sir Hilary Beckles, said the agreement is “one of the cornerstone science and technology projects that will undergird the transformation of our campus and the region with new career options, and serve as knowledge-based platform for the creation of wealth through bioenergy research”.

CEO of BioJet, Mitch Hawkins, said the Caribbean is a major area of interest for his company and it sees UWI Cave Hill as a valuable partner in the future success of its operations.

Last Friday, international standards organization ASTM International – originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials – gave approval for the commercial use of 50 per cent blends of aviation biofuel derived from feedstocks such as camelina, jatropha and microalgae.

Hawkins said that was “a game changing decision for the worldwide transportation industry and opens up tremendous opportunities for both UWI and Biojet International”.

The company today announced that it is releasing one billion gallons of renewable jet fuel to long term contracts.

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