Tag Archives: aviation

[NEWS] First Chinese Intercontinental Biofuel Flight Lands in Chicago

– by Katie Cantle, November 22, 2017, Air Transport World

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Photo: Xinhua News Agency

Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-8 has completed China’s first intercontinental passenger flight with sustainable fuel produced from waste cooking oil from restaurants in China by Sinopec.

According to Xinhua News Agency, Hainan Airlines flight 497 flew from Beijing to Chicago O’Hare International Airport Nov. 21 after flying more than 11,000 km (6,835 miles).

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[AUDIO] An Overview of Aviation Biofuels

CONFERENCE CALL AUDIO: An Overview of Aviation Biofuels (September 2016) 

The Biomass Monitor speaks with Almuth Ernsting, co-director of Biofuelwatch, about the current forms of aviation biofuels and those likely to be used in the future.

The Biomass Monitor conference calls are held the 3rd Thursday of every month. For notice of future calls, go to thebiomassmonitor.org and subscribe to our free, monthly online journal investigating the whole story on bioenergy, biomass, and biofuels.

[NEWS] Colorado Company Produces Tree-Based Aviation Biofuel

– October 12, 2016, Renewable Energy From Waste

alaska-air-web_rewGevo, Inc., Englewood, Colorado, has completed production of cellulosic renewable jet fuel that is specified for commercial flights. Gevo successfully adapted its patented technologies to convert cellulosic sugars derived from wood waste into renewable isobutanol, which was then further converted into Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) fuel. This ATJ meets the ASTM D7566 specification allowing it to be used for commercial flights. The revisions to the ASTM D7566 specification, which occurred earlier this year, includes ATJ derived from renewable isobutanol, regardless of the carbohydrate feedstock (i.e. cellulosics, corn, sugar cane, molasses and so on).

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[NEWS] Sky’s the Limit on Navy’s Biofuel Focus

– by Bill Loveless, September 14, 2016, USA Today

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Photo: US Navy

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has made alternative energy a top priority since taking office in 2009, but this week he took his commitment to new heights, literally.

The civilian leader for the Navy climbed aboard an EA-18G Growler fighter jet as a passenger on one of a series of test flights using 100% biofuel.

Biofuels are not new for the U.S. Navy and Air Force, which have been experimenting with blends on aircraft and ships for several years. In fact, all Navy ships and aircraft are now certified to run on up to 50-50 blends of conventional and alternative fuels.

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[NEWS] Biofuel Takes Off With Airplane Travel

– by Daisy Simmons, September 9, 2016, Yale Climate Connections

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Photo: Yale Climate Connections

Biofuel is now helping power United Airlines flights out of Los Angeles.

United began mixing biofuel with traditional jet fuel earlier this year. The biofuel is made from waste products like animal fats and manure. This farm waste would otherwise rot and produce methane, a potent global-warming gas.

Angela Foster-Rice is the managing director of environmental affairs and sustainability for United. She says the biofuel emits 60 percent less carbon dioxide than regular fuel over its lifecycle.

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[NEWS] Biofuels on Jet Flights from Los Angeles to Amsterdam

– by Linda Blachly, September 8, 2016, Air Transport World

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Photo: Air Transport World

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has signed a three-year contract with Los Angeles-based refinery AltAir Fuels and SkyNRG for the supply of sustainable biofuel on all flights between Los Angeles International Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The biofuel will be produced by AltAir Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG.

“Sustainable biofuel is currently one of the most effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions in the airline industry,” KLM president and CEO said. “Owing partly to the companies taking part in the KLM Corporate Biofuel Program, we have been able to take this step, giving a further impulse to the consistent production of biofuel.”

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[OPINION] The High-Flown Fantasy of Aviation Biofuels

[Read the opposing view, “Takeoff for Aviation Biofuels: How, Where, When?” by Jim Lane, editor and publisher of Biofuels Digest.]

– by Almuth Ernsting, Co-Director, Biofuelwatch

On 24th February 2008, pictures of Richard Branson tossing a coconut into the air next to an aircraft at Heathrow were broadcast around the world, as he announced the world’s first biofuel flight. Biofuel, he claimed, would “enable those of us who are serious about reducing our carbon emissions to go on developing the fuels of the future.”

Environmental NGOs denounced his test flight as a publicity stunt, intended to deflect attention from the fact that aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and most carbon intensive form of transport. As far as Branson and his airline, Virgin Atlantic, were concerned, the flight was indeed no more than a stunt: The “biofuel test flight” burned 95% ordinary kerosene and just 5% biofuels, made from coconut and Brazilian babassu nut oil. Virgin Atlantic has not used any biofuels since that day.

Since then, however, at least 24 other airlines have blended biofuels with kerosene. By September 2015, more than 2,050 such flights had taken off, most by commercial airlines, some by the US and Dutch military and US and Canadian research institutes. This year, KLM has launched a series of 80 passenger flights with biofuel blends, and since March, United Airlines has been using such blends for regular flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco. They aim to expand their use to all their flights out of Los Angeles. Across the aviation industry, biofuel use and investments have moved far beyond what could be considered a mere publicity stunt.

Even if biofuels were carbon neutral – which is far from the case – there is no realistic prospect of them making any significant dent in aviation’s contribution to global warming. Between 2002 and 2012, global jet fuel use increased by one-fifth, to 5.42 million barrels a year (around 695,000 tonnes). Apart from a minor dip during the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, it has been growing year after year. Global biofuel production has reached the equivalent of around 70.8 million tonnes of oil a year, accounting for little more than 2% of the world’s transport fuels. However, as we shall see below,only a small fraction of the biofuels which are being produced annually today could conceivably be upgraded for use in aviation. Nearly the world’s entire biofuel infrastructure is for ethanol and biodiesel, which cannot be used in aircraft.

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[OPINION] Take-off for Aviation Biofuels: When, How, and Why?

[Read the opposing view, “The High-Flown Fantasy of Aviation Biofuels,” by Almuth Ernsting, co-director of Biofuelwatch.]

– by Jim Lane, Editor & Publisher, Biofuels Digest

One striking image for all of us in 2016 has been the graceful lines of the Solar Impulse as it shuttled around the globe in a remarkable demonstration of the potential of solar energy for powered flight.

But if we reflect upon the wingspan, the minuscule payload, the multi-month journey, the speed and the discomfort involved, we might sympathize with Boeing executive Julie Felgar when she stated at ABLC this year, “We’re all excited about solar. I’m excited about solar, but as a commercial reality we are decades and decades away.”

By the 21st Century, we’ll have many more technological options for limiting and adapting to climate change, but in there here and now, when it comes to aviation, representing 5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, for now we have two strategies and two alone. Fuel efficiency and renewable fuels.

There are limits on fuel efficiency because of the 30-40 year replacement cycle for jets, and the 10-20 year development cycle. Designs only on a drawing board today will be not deployed until the 2020s or 2030s, and jets we have in service today will be still flying, somewhere, in the 2050s.

So it is not a shock to observers that airlines such as Virgin, United Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific have been investing in renewable fuel companies. The US government has made substantial investments in search of sustainable military jet fuels, also. Other airlines are expected to follow suit, and more than 30 of them have joined R&D consortia, conducted flight certification tests and in other ways contributed towards the deployment of these fuels.

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[NEWS] Will New Biofuels Help Decarbonize Aviation and Shipping?

Will New Biofuels Help Decarbonize Aviation and Shipping?

– by Kent Harrington, August 17, 2016, Chenected

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(Photo: Chenected)

It’s all hands on deck for the monumental task of decarbonizing the world energy system, and some speculate that may take a decade shy of the next century before it’s complete, if ever. It turns out that reining in emissions from stationary energy facilities, like coal or gas-powered plants, will be easy compared to curbing emissions from moving targets like aviation and shipping, which is starting to look nearly impossible.

A new video makes the problem clear: Every day 100,000 airline flights take off and land at airports across the world (watch the video above). Constantly moving air traffic means that no single person or group can manage the flow surging around the globe with the velocity of a plot from a Jason Bourne movie, floating over time zones, leaping national borders, and skating past regulatory and legal jurisdictions.

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