BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's top oil refiner has been given a license allowing the commercial use of its self-developed aviation biofuel, the country's aviation authority said on Wednesday.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted the license, the first of its kind, to Sinopec, allowing the company's No.1 Aviation Biofuel to be used by airlines.
Xu Chaoqun, deputy head of CAAC's Flight Criteria Department, hailed the development as a significant breakthrough for the country's research, production and application of aviation biofuel.
The No.1 Aviation Biofuel had gone through several rounds of strict tests before it was given the green light, according to Xu.
CAAC received Sinopec's application for commercial use of the biofuel in early 2012, and a test flight powered by the biofuel was successful in Shanghai last April.
Xu said Sinopec will work to diversify biofuel sources, lower production costs and push forward commercial application of the fuel.
Biofuel, made from renewable resources, including plant seeds, animal fat and recycled cooking oil, generates less carbon emissions than conventional fuel.
With an annual consumption of nearly 20 million tonnes, China has become a large consumer of aviation fuels, and the development of biofuel will help ease resource pressures and cut pollution.
Biofuel is gaining popularity worldwide. The International Air Transport Association forecast that 30 percent of aviation fuel will be biofuel by 2020.