Brazil could do more to help its aviation industry by developing drop-in biofuels that its existing fleet of airplanes can use, an executive from a trade group said on Thursday.

The executive`s comments followed a lawmaker`s proposal, which would allow airplanes to convert their engines so they could use the biofuels currently being produced in Brazil.

Such biofuels pose a challenge to Brazil`s existing airplane fleet. Because airplanes fly at high altitudes, the temperatures inside of their fuel tanks can reach low temperatures. Some biofuels cannot be used at such low temperatures without changes to the engines.

The proposal is intended to stimulate Brazil`s biofuels industry.

However, it would be more beneficial if Brazil promoted the development of biofuels that its current fleet of airplanes can use, according to Adilson Liebsch, director of aviation biofuels at Ubrabio, a biodiesel trade group.

Already, there are certified processes that can produce renewable aviation fuels that can be used by airplanes without any changes to their engines, Liebsch said.

By pursuing such a strategy, Brazil could ensure that all planes could use the nation`s biofuels − and not just the ones with the changed engines, Liebsch said.

Brazil has been discussing other alternatives for the aviation industry, such as a biokerosene platform as a way to develop cleaner biofuels.

By: Leo Siqueira