Paris. Honeywell made aviation history by landing a Gulfstream G450 at Paris Le Bourget after the first transatlantic flight, using a 50/50 blend of biofuel and standard jet fuel. A step forward by the aviation industry to reduce the carbon footprint and make the world a cleaner place to live in.
James Rekoske, Vice President and General Manager of Renewable Energy and Chemicals for Honeywell UOP said, “the flight has accomplished two goals- First, it demonstrates the willingness of the aviation industry to participate in the search for more environmentally friendly fuel sources, and second, it advances approval by the U.S. FAA of the 50/50 Green Jet Fuel blend, which Honeywell expects to receive in mid-July. We have been granted the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) approval early this month.”
“It will be four or five years before Green Jet Fuel will be available on a commercial scale at parity with jet fuel As production increases and more fuel is available, we believe that Green Jet Fuel will become cost competitive,” said Rekoske.
“Despite our work in the initial development of the Green Jet Fuel, we do not plan to go into the biofuel business, but will license the process and allow others to continue further development and distribution. It is for the industry to tie up with existing refineries and start production with our technology,” said James M Anderson, Business Director, Renewable Energy and Chemicals, UOP.
“The good news for aircraft manufacturers is that requirement to change the engine and hence there will be no disturbance in the existing supply chain management for engine spares. Green Jet Fuel is a drop-in replacement and has been tested on Pratt & Whitney, GE , Snecma and Honeywell engines. The biofuel has been found compatible to all these engines,” added Anderson.
The fuel is produced for UOP under license by a Houston, Texas refinery. It was developed under a grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and is based on hydro-processing technology commonly used in today’s refineries to produce transportation fuels, he informed.
“Tests have been done by US military and some commercial airlines like KLM, JAL, Air New Zealand and Continental. All have been very successful and it is the fuel of the future if we want to lessen the carbon footprint. In this flight we saved 5.5 metreic tonnes of CO2 emissions,” he said.
Jim Andersen observed: “Overall it results in between a 60 to 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to flying with traditional fossil fuel. One of the things that’s been key for us is to make sure that it was a sustainable resource, so we’re using feedstocks that don’t compete with our food supply chain. In particular the fuel that we flew was derived from camelina oil. A half-dozen sources–ranging from algae to the jatropha plant are being used to develop the fuel, depending on availability. “
“Fuel represents about 40% of airline carriers’ total cost–and oil that costs $100 a barrel is a major incentive for airlines and aviation companies to find an alternative. Some companies in USA are aggressively pursuing renewable jet fuel, made from waste grease and vegetable oil to replace some of the 17 billion gallons of petroleum-based fuel the aviation industry consumes every year in the country,” he informed.
Seattle-based AltAir Fuels had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with 14 major airlines from the United States, Mexico, Canada and Germany, led by the Air Transport Association (ATA), to negotiate the purchase of up to 750 million gallons of renewable jet fuel and diesel derived from camelina and produced by AltAir Fuels. The participating airlines include, American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Blue Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, United Airlines, UPS Airlines, and US Airways.
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