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Old March 31st, 2009, 04:00 PM   #21
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Airlines to fly less, and pollute less, in downturn

GENEVA, March 31 (Reuters) - Airlines will reduce their carbon emissions by nearly 8 percent this year as they slash the number of flights they operate in line with a drop in both cargo and passenger demand, executives said on Tuesday.

The airline sector was once seen as a driving force behind global warming, which is linked to the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, but the world financial crisis has taken the heat off the industry, which is keen to save fuel to reduce costs.

About 6 percent of the forecast carbon cut will come as a result of carriers flying fewer planes in 2009, and a further 1.8 percent reflects steps to improve energy efficiency, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

IATA Director-General Giovanni Bisignani also reported that leading carriers have run successful tests with biofuels made from plants, raising the possibility that algae and other crops could be certified to power flights as early as next year.

Continental Airlines , Japan Airlines , Air New Zealand and Virgin [VA.UL] have all had positive results with bio-jet fuels made from algae, the non-food crop jatropha, and camelina, a type of flax.

"Certification by 2010 or 2011 is a real possibility, and the potential benefits are enormous," Bisignani told an aviation conference in Geneva, where his industry group is based.

"A biofuel industry could be a big generator of employment and wealth for the developing world," he said.

The economic slowdown that began in the United States and cascaded around the world has dealt a punch to airlines, which have high fixed costs and rely on executive-class passengers and business cargo to stay afloat.

Some U.S. airlines have reduced their flights in response to plummeting demand for travel and freight, and carriers in Asia and Europe are likely to make similar scheduling cuts to allay their operating costs, according to IATA, which estimates the airline industry will lose $4.7 billion this year.

"Further and larger cuts are planned but it remains difficult to do this quickly enough to keep up with the slump in demand," it said in its latest financial outlook.

Airports are also trying to improve efficiency by revamping runway and taxiway designs, improving flight scheduling, and reducing airfield congestion that causes wasteful fuel burning, according to Angela Gittens, director-general of Airports Council International.

Such steps have been undertaken recently in Athens, Kuala Lumpur, Montreal, San Francisco and Zurich, Gittens told the aviation and environment summit, held near the Geneva airport.

Up to 100 European airports are also preparing to change their standards on how planes land, shifting to a "continuous descent approach", or CDA, that makes for a smoother descent and cuts carbon emissions by 160 kg to 470 kg (353 pounds to 1,036 pounds) per flight.

"CDA offers significant fuel savings which have both an environmental and financial benefit to airlines," said Alexander ter Kuile of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 05:46 PM   #22
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IATA aims for biofuels on commercial flights by 2011
31 March 2009
Agence France Presse

The international airline association IATA is aiming to approve biofuels for commercial flights by 2010 or 2011, its director general Giovanni Bisignani said Tuesday.

Bisignani told a civil aviation industry meeting that recent tests by Continental Airlines, Japan's JAL, Air New Zealand and Virgin had shown that "next generation sustainable" clean burning biofuels worked.

"We have made amazing progress, certification by 2010 or 2011 is now a real possibility," Bisignani said.

However, such biofuels would still need to be produced in commercially viable quantities with common quality standards, and suppliers worldwide would also need to be equipped for storage.

"Commercial production should be a priority for governments encouraged by effective incentives in tax and regulatory frameworks," Bisignani told the Aviation and Environment Summit.

US aircraft maker Boeing's environmental strategy chief Bill Glover estimated that biofuel blends with jet fuel could cut emissions by 50 percent without the need to change aircraft.

Certification is widely regarded as a first technical step that could eliminate some of the investment uncertainties that cloud the use of high quality biofuels in aviation.

However, industry executives underlined that some other hurdles, including cost and supply, were still significant.

"We're now in a situation where the commercial viability is extremely questionable," said Andrew Herdman, head of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

Prices for crops or feedstocks for biofuels were more than twice that of a barrel of oil currently, while one airline involved in testing even had trouble finding enough of the high quality product, he added.

Biofuels are also controversial as critics say widespread production could affect food crops, exacerbate global shortages and lead to further strains on water supplies.

Bisignani said a drop in air traffic was likely to account for the bulk of cuts in carbon emissions from civil aviation in 2009.

Of the 7.8 percent reduction forecast this year, six percent is expected to be from reduced traffic due to the economic crisis.

IATA said its environmental audit had identified immediate fuel savings ranging between three and 12 percent that could be made at individual airlines.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #23
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Airline: Biofuel could cut emissions by 65 percent
29 May 2009

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A test flight of a commercial airliner partially powered by plant oil showed the biofuel could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 65 percent on long-haul flights, Air New Zealand said Friday.

During a two-hour flight in December, one engine of a Boeing 747-400 was powered by a 50-50 blend of oil from the plum-sized fruit known as jatropha and traditional jet fuel.

The test confirmed that up to 1.5 tons (1.35 metric tons) of fuel can be saved on a 12-hour flight -- a little more than 1 percent savings -- said the national carrier's chief pilot, Dave Morgan. The blend would cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 5 tons (4.5 metric tons) -- or at least 60 percent.

Morgan called the fuel savings "significant," though the monetary gain depends on the price of oil.

"At the moment these feed stocks ... are still facing the challenge of reaching cost competitiveness with conventional jet fuel," particularly when the price of oil is around $60 a barrel, Andrew Herdman, director general of the Asia Pacific Airlines Association, told The Associated Press.

Biofuels would become competitive sooner if an emission trading system raised the price of carbon-based fuels, he said.

Air New Zealand obtained the jatropha oil for its test flight from Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and India. Seeds from the jatropha -- a bush with round, plum-like fruit -- are crushed to produce a yellowish oil that is refined and mixed with diesel.

Some environmental groups have questioned whether jatropha and other plants used as biofuels are sustainable. They have expressed concerns about the plants' impact if more land and resources are devoted to growing them on a commercial scale.

Herdman warned that while several airlines are testing biofuels and have shown promise, the "drop-ins" as they are called still face "another couple of years' work to demonstrate that it can be certified" as an additive to jet fuel.

"Airlines, we're not too demanding.... It's got to perform exactly the same or better, and it's got to be a competitive price," he said.

Morgan also cautioned that "many more steps" were needed before biofuel could become "a commercial aviation fuel source."
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Old June 24th, 2009, 06:00 PM   #24
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Biofuel buzz builds around jatropha tree; backers say it beats ethanol, but some are skeptical
24 June 2009

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - What some see as the biofuel of the future starts out as short, thick stems with a few leaves sticking out at sharp angles. But in just a few years, they will be tall, leafy trees with bright green spherical pods spilling their seeds all over the ground.

The jatropha tree doesn't have the name recognition or lobbying clout of corn-based ethanol, but the energy industry is increasingly spending development dollars and examining it as a potentially better biofuel source: It is easier to grow than corn, untied to the food market and free from any carbon dioxide or sulfur emissions.

Biodiesel from jatropha has powered test flights on Air New Zealand and Continental Airlines. It has prompted oil giant BP PLC to partner on jatropha projects in India and Africa.

And here on Florida's Gulf Coast, one jatropha company believes in the trees with such fervor that it calls them the eventual solution to the country's oil problems. But skeptics consider that hyperbole, saying there are still too many questions.

"Jatropha is a perfect crop," said Dave Wolfley, a distribution manager for Fort Myers-based My Dream Fuel. "We have the resources to do away with importing foreign oil."

The numbers, Wolfley believes, are telling: The trees cost $6 to $7 each, can be grown 400 to an acre, and produce more than two gallons of oil apiece each season at maturity. Still, it would take a farm about the size of Rhode Island to produce a billion gallons -- and the U.S. economy uses more than 50 billion gallons of diesel annually.

My Dream Fuel said it is in negotiations to sell trees to growers in the Big Cypress National Preserve, and environmentalist efforts to reduce cargo ship emissions could open up Florida's maritime market through the Port of Miami. Wolfley even runs his truck on jatropha.

But the company has had trouble convincing Florida growers of the viability and profitability of its vision. Wolfley said even citrus farmers, who have lost much of their crop to disease and cold, aren't willing to take the risk on something new. Jatropha is a low-maintenance, fast-growing plant that doesn't require much watering, he said.

"I thought it would be the easiest thing I've ever done," he said.

The resistance Wolfley faces reflects skepticism within the fuel industry and academia whether jatropha is the savior its growers claim.

Jennifer Holmgren, general manager of renewable energy and chemicals for energy technology firm UOP, which provided the fuel for the airlines' test flights, said jatropha may be the latest biofuel buzzword, but the energy industry must remain objective and look at multiple fuel sources.

It's important to find a fuel source that works with the current infrastructure, Holmgren said. For anything, including jatropha, to be widely used, it needs to work in the current pipeline system, which ethanol does not. And jatropha is only usable in diesel engines.

It will take some time for jatropha to hit the same price point as conventional diesel, UOP spokeswoman Susan Gross said.

Biofuel today usually costs about 80 percent for the feedstock and about 15 percent for refining, Gross said. Jatropha prices are currently high because of its low supply, but in two or three years with more farms growing it, it could reach the same cost as conventional diesel.

Jatropha shows promise, Holmgren said, but so do other biofuel sources such as algae.

"It's not a bad feedstock," she said. "It's just that it's not the answer to all of our prayers."

So far, jatropha has grown mostly overseas in India and Africa. Sham Goyal, an agronomy scientist at the University of California, Davis, said the plant has "very good potential" but that it would take at least five years to determine its commercial viability in the U.S., especially since jatropha can only grow in warmer climates.

Roy Beckford, who studies jatropha as a University of Florida researcher, said the plant can yield more oil than soy or corn. But because it is still essentially a wild plant, yields vary widely, making it an unpredictable commercial crop.

"Not all jatropha is going to perform the same," he said.

Still, some see dollar signs in jatropha's bright green seeds.

Teri Gevinson, owner of the Boca Raton real estate development firm Ascot Development, put 9,500 jatropha plants on parcels of Delray Beach land left vacant by pepper and tomato farmers who could no longer afford rent. She hopes to turn her newest venture, Ag-Oil, into a biofuel provider in six to nine months.

"I think we're going to give farmers a way to make money again," she said.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 11:05 PM   #25
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INTERVIEW-Rentech sees commercial-scale jet fuel by 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Rentech Inc's supply deal with eight airlines for its synthetic diesel fuel is a milestone for the biofuel company, which aims to increase its jet aviation fuel production capacity to commercial scale in four years, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Rentech's multi-year deal, announced earlier on Tuesday, is for the supply of up to 1.5 million gallons per year of synthetic diesel for ground service equipment operations at Los Angeles International Airport beginning in late 2012.

"This is an important milestone as it creates an end user for our fuels," CEO Hunt Ramsbottom said in an interview. "It sends a signal to the marketplace that this is a real fuel, it's here today, it's ready, and there's a big end user out there."

The company, whose major product is its synthetic aviation jet fuel, came into the spotlight recently after the fuel was certified for commercial aviation.

All the airlines that have agreed to purchase synthetic diesel from Rentech were potential customers for its jet fuel, Ramsbottom said.

"We want to continue to work with the airlines," he said. "This is a touch point along that curve to create some large jet fuel (customers)."

Rentech's shares rose 86 percent to end at $2.40 on the Nasdaq exchange following the announcement of the deal.

Eight airlines -- Alaska Airlines, American Airlines , Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines , Southwest Airlines , United Airlines , UPS Airlines and US Airways -- signed on to buy the synthetic diesel created primarily out of yard clipping and other wood waste.

The Los Angeles-based company is building a commercial scale facility for the synthetic diesel in Rialto, California, that will become operational in 2012.

The market for alternative energy aviation fuel is immense, given the volatility in the price of crude oil, Ramsbottom said.

"Just one major airline that we are dealing with buy 2.5 billion gallons (of regular fuel) a year, he added. "The market is absolutely wide open for us."

Rentech has already sold its jet fuel to the United States Air Force, which is testing the company's product as part of a program under which it plans to obtain half of its fuel from alternative sources by 2016.

Airlines are keen to discover green fuels because they are less likely than cars to run on batteries or other alternative fuels such as ethanol. The aviation industry also requires a fuel with greater specifications than the rest of the transport sector -- including low freezing points.

The run up of crude oil prices to a record $147 a barrel last year also increased interest in alternative aviation fuels.

"What we want to offer to them is price stability over next 20 to 30 years and a domestic source," Ramsbottom said.

Rentech will be able to supply commercial scale volumes of its synthetic jet fuel in three to four years, Ramsbottom said, adding that he expects the interest in the company's products to rise once the global economy starts improving.

"We will be probably doing flights with the air transport association or individual airlines as we go forward but we can't supply them today in quantity," he said.

The company's facility in Colorado currently produces jet fuel but not in volumes needed by the airlines.

In wide-ranging remarks, Ramsbottom said Rentech is open to partnerships that will help the company make inroads into the marketplace.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #26
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15 airlines seeking to stimulate jet fuel alternatives sign memorandums with biofuel makers
15 December 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fifteen airlines and air cargo carriers said Tuesday they've signed memorandums of understandings that could lead to the purchase of hundreds of millions of gallons of fuel made from either coal or camelina, a weed that's a cousin to canola.

The Air Transport Association said airlines from the United States, Canada, Germany and Mexico have signed memorandums with AltAir Fuels LLC of Seattle, which contemplates producing about 75 million gallons of fuel a year from camelina or similar feedstocks, and Rentech Inc. of Los Angeles, which contemplates producing about 250 million gallons a year of fuel derived principally from coal or petroleum coke.

United Airlines Chairman Glen Tilton -- who is also chairman of the airline association -- said the memorandums show airlines are actively working to stimulate competition to jet fuel made from petroleum.

Tilton said in a statement that discussions are also under way between airlines and other fuel producers and the U.S. military about additional alternative fuel projects.

Twelve airlines -- Air Canada, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and US Airways -- have signed memorandums with both producers, the airline association said. Also, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines signed the memorandums with AltAir, while AirTran Airways signed a memorandum with Rentech.

------

On the Net:

http://www.airlines.org
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:11 PM   #27
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Airbus to test biofuels when available

GENEVA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Airbus Industrie [ARBU.UL] is sure that biofuels, the 'green' hope of the aviation sector, will work in its planes and is looking forward to testing them, a senior official for the European airliner builder said on Thursday.

"If there is biofuel available we will do the flights, but we have absolutely no reason to believe there would be any problem," Rainer Ohler, senior vice-president for public affairs and communications told a news conference.

Ohler said Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS , had successfully tested gas-to-liquid fuel for Qatar Airways two years ago. The resulting fuel was as effective as normal jet fuel or kerosene, but without the sulphur smell.

While this offered an alternative to jet fuel, it did not reduce carbon emissions which biofuels promised. Unlike oil, biofuels can be constantly replenished and harvested.

But the process for synthesising fuel from gas, known as the Fischer-Tropsch process, could equally be used on biofuels, Ohler said ahead of the trial flight to Geneva of Airbus's new 850-passenger capacity A380 airliner.

Airbus is planning to test biofuels with JetBlue Airways . Its American rival Boeing , with which Airbus is cooperating on fuel and environment research, has already made several test flights using biofuel.

Paul Steele, executive director of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), an industry association for airlines, airports, planemakers and others in the aviation sector, said the biofuels targeted by the industry would be environmentally friendly.

They would not draw on food crops, require farmland or use excessive fresh water, in contrast to some crops used for producing motor fuel, he said.

The most promising crops are jatropha and camelina, but the industry also sees huge potential in producing biofuel from algae and plants that grow in salty water known as halophytes.

Ohler called on regulators to ensure that the aviation industry had priority access to biofuels, as other forms of alternative fuel, such as electricity, were not practical for planes.

Giovanni Bisignani, director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which groups 230 airlines, urged governments and oil companies to subsidise and invest in research in biofuel production.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #28
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British Airways biofuel awaiting UK approval-paper

LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The biofuel made from municipal waste that will account for a small proportion of British Airways' jet fuel from 2014, has yet to pass regulatory approval in Britain, according to the Guardian.

The British airline said on Monday it had signed a deal to purchase all the "sustainable jet fuel" that U.S.-based biofuel company Solena Group could produce from a plant expected to be sited in London and operational from 2014.

But the DStan department in the Ministry of Defence which regulates aviation fuel in Britain, wants to conduct further tests to make sure the biofuel does not compromise aircraft safety and performance, the paper said.

A spokesman for the British Airways said safety remained the airline's highest priority.

"Fischer Tropsch fuel has already been certified in the U.S. ... for use in a 50/50 blend with petroleum jet fuel and we anticipate that the UK's Defence Standards agency will follow suit," the spokesman said in a statement.

British Airways said it aimed to obtain 10 percent of all its jet fuel from this waste-to-energy process by 2050.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:04 AM   #29
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more on the same.........
Quote:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8515620.stm

BA agrees deal for UK jet biofuel plant
By Richard Scott
Transport correspondent, BBC News

British Airways has struck a deal to build the first plant in Europe to produce jet fuel from waste matter.

Some 500,000 tonnes of waste will be used by the UK facility each year to produce 16 million gallons of fuel.

Construction of the plant in east London will start within two years. It is set to produce fuel from 2014, creating up to 1,200 jobs.

BA said the plant would produce twice the amount of fuel needed to power all its flights from London City Airport.

It would only account for about 2% of flights from Heathrow, however.

Greenhouse gas

BA argues the plant will cut the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, reducing the amount of methane that is produced.

Methane is thought to be a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The plant will be built by a US company Solena Group, with BA committing to buy all of its output.

It will be another four years before it starts producing fuel, and it is unlikely to work at full capacity straight away.

The ideal source material for the plant is waste matter that has a high carbon content.

Biofuel creation

The waste is fed into a high temperature "gasifier" to produce BioSynGas.

A chemical process called Fischer Tropsch is then used to convert the gas into biofuel.

Waste products from the process can be used to power the plant as well as supply 20MW of electricity to the national grid.

A solid waste product can be used as an aggregate in construction.

The fuel produced by the plant is certified for use in other countries, but not currently in the UK.

BA says it is confident of getting the certification by the time the plant starts producing fuel, either for use in a blend with traditional kerosene or on its own.

..
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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:59 AM   #30
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It's a good start nevertheless. Imagine even half of Heathrow BA flights eventually using biofuels in the future ...
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #31
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Planes may fly mostly on biofuels with 10 years
17 March 2010

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Within a decade, passenger planes will be flying on jet fuel largely made from plants -- flax, marsh grass, even food waste -- as airlines seek to break away from the volatile oil market and do their part to fight climate change, aviation experts said Wednesday.

Though biofuels are still in the experimental stage, the projected shift has stoked concern among environmentalists that the possible insatiable appetite of airlines for plant oil will hasten the destruction of tropical forests and the conversion of cropland from food to fuel.

Dependency on agrofuels "will lead to faster deforestation and climate change and spells disaster for indigenous peoples, other forest-dependent communities and small farmers," said a statement from the Global Forest Coalition, an alliance of environmental groups.

But aviation experts told a global biofuels conference the industry is focusing on fuels that cause minimal environmental destruction.

A Swiss-based organization, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, has drawn up standards for certifying the entire chain of production. "Not all biofuels are created equal," said Victoria Junquera.

Controlling greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and shipping is an unresolved issue in negotiations on a global climate change agreement leading up to the next major climate conference in Mexico next November.

The European Union has decided that by 2012 all flights into and from European airports will be subject to the European carbon trading program. That means airlines will be given a limit on how much carbon dioxide they can emit, and they can buy or sell carbon credits depending on whether they are over or under their targets.

Airlines emit roughly 2 percent of human-caused greenhouse gases, but until the economic recession the aviation industry was among the fastest growing polluters. The carbon emitted by aircraft tens of thousands of feet (meters) high also remain entirely in the atmosphere, while carbon from ground level is partly absorbed by soil or oceans.

Five test flights have been conducted since 2008 by different airlines using up to 50 percent biofuels in one engine, including once on a twin-engine Boeing 737-800 using a mix of jatropha and algae.

More recent flights have used camelina, a mustard-type flax used as a rotation crop in northern Europe and North America for farmers to rejuvenate tired soil.

British Airways is participating in a pilot plant that produces jet fuel from waste that normally would be dumped in a landfill.

A pilot project also is under way in the Persian Gulf state of Abu Dhabi with halophytes, salt-water plants like mangroves and marsh grass that can be grown in conjunction with fish or prawn farms, said Terrance Scott, an environmental spokesman for Boeing.

Biofuels are likely to be approved for commercial use by the end of this year by ASTM International, the organization that develops standards routinely adopted by U.S. federal agencies, Scott said.

"We have developed advanced biofuels that are safe and can be grown in a sustainable manner," said Mark Rumizen of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Thomas Roetger, of the International Air Transport Association, said biofuels are expected to reach the break-even point and largely replace kerosine fuels within the next decade. "Everything looks very promising," he said.

Roetger said IATA's goal is the increase fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent every year until 2020 when the growth of carbon emissions level off, and to reduce emissions by half by 2050.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 09:18 AM   #32
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OFFICIAL-KLM wants to offer biofuel flights from 2011

AMSTERDAM, March 18 (Reuters) - Dutch airline operator KLM, part of Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM said on Thursday it wanted to make commercial flights which use biofuel from 2011.

Last November, during a 1.5 hour KLM flight above the Netherlands, one engine of a Boeing 747 ran on a mixture of 50 percent sustainable biofuel and 50 percent on traditional kerosene. The other three engines ran on 100 percent normal kerosene.

"We have proven it is possible," said a KLM spokeswoman.

The exact date for launching commercial flights which use biofuels would depend on developments in the industry, such as suppliers and certification, the spokeswoman said.

She did not know to what degree commercial flights would use biofuels.

KLM Chief Executive Peter Hartman said in November the biofuel used on the flight reduced CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent compared to conventional kerosene.

Aircraft account for an estimated 2-4 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which scientists say could cause global temperatures to rise, triggering widespread disease, famine, flooding and drought.

Experts say global aviation emissions could reach 2.4 billion tonnes in 2050, which would be 15-20 percent of all CO2 permitted under a global agreement and a nearly four-fold increase on current levels.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 04:53 AM   #33
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Quote:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/tr...-biofuels.html

Airlines ask for financial help to develop biofuels
Airlines need government support to make biofuels more affordable in order to reduce pollution and carbon emissions, the head of the global aviation industry group has said

07 Jun 2012

Around 1,500 commercial flights have been made using fuel made from plants and waste products, but supplies are limited and costly, said Tony Tyler, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association.

We need governments to adopt policies to help support commercialisation of biofuels to bring up the volume and bring down the price,” Mr Tyler said.

The industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact following the introduction of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in January, under which airlines operating in Europe are charged for exceeding carbon emission limits.

Governments in both North America and Russia have voiced their opposition to ETS, while India and China have ordered their airlines not to cooperate with the scheme. The EU has said it would reconsider its policy if the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization produces a global agreement to regulate emissions.

Although aviation accounts for only three per cent of man-made carbon emissions, scientists say it is among the fastest-growing sources.

Aircraft manufacturers and energy companies have experimented with fuels made from a variety of plants, including jatropha, an oily nut; camelina, a flower with an oily stem; and algae.

The first commercial flight to take off from Britain using biofuel was operated by Thomson Airways in October, and used a combination of used cooking oil and regular jet fuel. At the time Thomson claimed that the use of biofuels could reduce the aviation industry’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 per cent, a figure that Mr Tyler reiterated.

However, charities such as ActionAid have criticised the use of biofuels. They claim that growing crops to fuel engines rather than feed the local population pushes up the cost of food and increases poverty.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 05:33 PM   #34
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China Eastern tests flight using biofuel
China Daily

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhuanet) -- China Eastern Airlines completed its first successful test flight of an aircraft powered by biofuel on Wednesday.

The company said it now plans to introduce biofuel for commercial flights to reduce carbon emissions, although it has not revealed a timetable.

"Biofuel-powered aircraft make our flights more environmentally friendly," said Captain Liu Zhimin, who piloted Wednesday's flight.

The jet, which used a palm oil biofuel made by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, flew for 85 minutes after taking off from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.

Liu said he performed several extreme maneuvers, including diving above 12,000 meters, but found no significant difference between the Sinopec biofuel and gasoline. The plane's left fuel tank was filled with gasoline to allow him to compare.

"The performance of the biofuel during the takeoff was powerful," the pilot added.

Sinopec is the first company in China to master the technology of turning palm oil and waste cooking oil into jet biofuel.

"We have developed two kinds of biofuel, palm oil and waste cooking oil, and the fuel we used during this flight was palm oil," Huang Zhongwen, deputy director of publicity for Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Co, told China Daily.

"We have the capability of turning waste cooking oil into jet fuel, although the cost will be higher than producing ordinary fuel," he said, without providing specifics on the cost difference.

Waste cooking oil is dubbed gutter oil in China as illicit oil producers have recycled waste oil collected from gutters behind restaurants. The oil, which contains carcinogenic substances, is dangerous to human health.

The test flight opened up the possibility of using other types of biofuel, including those made from recycled gutter oil, for aviation purposes, said Zhao Xuebing, a lecturer specializing in bio-energy research at Tsinghua University.

But Zhao cast doubt on the commercial viability of biofuel for use in jets because the treatment process of producing biofuel will push the cost up higher than regular fuel refinery.

"I do not see biofuel used widely in commercial flights in the next decade," Zhao said.

In October 2011, Air China became the nation's first carrier to test a flight partly powered by biofuel, the outcome of a collaboration between PetroChina and Honeywell UOP's Green Jet Fuel.

Honeywell UOP has licensed its green diesel production technology to four producers in the US and Europe.

The first of those facilities is expected to begin producing fuel in May, the US-based conglomerate told China Daily.

Although bio feedstock is more expensive than oil, Honeywell expects costs to come down as investments are made to produce larger quantities of bio feedstock and the company achieves economies of scale.

Biofuel production will emerge to be one of the many solutions to meet the growing global demand for energy, especially transportation fuel, while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, according to Honeywell.
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