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Flight Plan Towards Sustainable Aviation Biofuel in Mexico


The objective of the “Flight Plan” was to identify and analyze the existing and missing elements in the supply-chain of aviation biofuels, with a focus on the HEFA track.


Feasibility Study

Value-chain step
Full value-chain

Type of pathway
Oleaginous / Hydroprocessing

Starting time and duration
July 2010 - March 2011


Regional scope

Involved countries


The Flight Plan initiative aimed at:
  • Leading the national efforts of civil, public, private and research institutions in the development and production of aviation biofuels
  • Analysing the legal framework, raw materials availability, refining infrastructure and the economic viability of aviation biofuels
  • Integrating the talents of all participating sectors.

Mexican targets supporting the initiative are seeking an aviation biofuels production covering 1% of the national demand in 2015 and 15% in 2020.

A series of workshops for the Flight Plan were designed using a schematic view of the supply chain.


Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA) + 60 experts and more than 200 stakeholders.

Strategic partners: Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB), Boeing, Honeywell-UOP

Sponsor: National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT)

Achievements to date

Six workshops were organised over 8 months with all involved stakeholders and farmers, gathering in average about one hundred of participants.
  • Supply-chain analysis and sustainability: analysis of the challenges throughout the supply chain on the basis of the RSB principles.
  • Raw material and extraction

Following conclusions were drawn from the workshop:

    • jatropha, castor,salicornia, agave and algae emerge as indigenous potential candidate for Mexico;
    • vegetable oil industry in underused in Mexico because usual oil seeds are not produced in Mexico.
  • Refining facilities

As an outcome of the study, it is expected that by 2020, with the right funding structure in place, four aviation biofuel refineries will be operating producing 800 Ml of jet fuel per year.

  • Financing, legislation and logistics: analysis of the different national and international alternatives for funding the development of aviation biofuels, as well as of the legislative framework.


  • Algae: detailed analysis of the potential of this type of feedstock.


  • Aviation biofuels viability in Mexico: analysis of the viability of each component of the supply-chain.

The general conclusion was that there were great opportunities for aviation biofuel in Mexico, with a strong interest from all stakeholders to participate in the initiative. Sustainability appeared as a key while the main identified bottleneck was the production of the required quantities of feedstock.

In addition, the integration of the supply-chain made possible that ASA was involved in the process of aviation biofuel production, and carried out the first flights with biofuel in Mexico. 


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