company logo

Airlines experiment with biofuel after Lufthansa’s success

May 31, 2012

On 13 April 2012, Qantas flew from Sydney to Adelaide on bio-based jet fuel derived from used cooking oil, used to power Lufthansa’s Hamburg to Frankfurt jet for six months last year.

On 13 April 2012, Qantas flew from Sydney to Adelaide on bio-based jet fuel derived from used cooking oil, used to power Lufthansa’s Hamburg to Frankfurt jet for six months last year.

While Lufthansa has taken a sabbatical to research ways of developing sustainable biofuel, Virgin Australia is studying the potential that eucalyptus mallee trees offer to produce biofuel through a process called pyrolysis. They hope to have an alternative fuel plant operating in the next year.

Meanwhile, Neste Oil – the company that successfully produced the renewable fuel used by Lufthansa – has joined forces with the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy (AIREG) in Germany.

Vice President Kaisa Hietala said that “Joining forces and working in tight collaboration with other companies, research institutions, and decision markers is the most natural way for us in Neste Oil to support and promote the adoption of biofuels in aviation.”

The move comes on the back of Neste Oil’s success last summer, when it became one of the few companies in the world capable of producing premium quality, bio-based aviation fuel at commercial scale.

Among other initiatives, Indian Oil is working with Airbus, Kingfisher Airline and UOP to conduct biofuel test flights. In Thailand, Thai Airways International Public Company is focused on aviation biofuels as a first step in the country’s efforts to develop this sector. Dr Nakornsap of the Ministry of Energy said that the ultimate aim was to increase Thailand’s blend to 25% by 2020 using sugar derivatatives and cassava.

In China, the Commercial Aircraft Corp and Boeing have signed an agreement that ensures they will collaborate with China-based universities and research institutions to expand knowledge of technologies.

Finally, putting competition aside for the sake of the industry, Boeing and Embraer have agreed to work together on the development of aviation biofuels. They aim to contribute to the industry’s goal of halving emissions by 2050.


Related News