//First Commercial Biofuel Jet Test Flight is a Success

First Commercial Biofuel Jet Test Flight is a Success

The first biofuel test flight by a commercial airline was completed yesterday by Air New Zealand using a 50:50 blend of a jatropha-derived synthetic paraffinic kerosene and conventional Jet A1 fuel (named NZ-J50) in an Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 on Tuesday.

The two-hour test flight took off from Auckland airport on Tuesday morning, with the jatropha-derived biofuel blend powering one of the four Rolls-Royce RB211 engines.

This successful test should go a long way towards helping Air New Zealand hit its self-imposed target of displacing 10 percent of its 9 million barrels of fuel used annually with biofuels by 2013.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, launched in September 2008, has chartered a peer- reviewed, independent life cycle and socio-economic sustainability research report of the NZ-J50 fuel, which is expected to be completed in September 2009.

It is reported that jatropha oil freezes at a lower temperature than even standard-grade jet fuel and is not used as a food source, making it an ideal choice for aviation biofuels. The oil for these tests was sourced from East Africa and India and is cost competitive with traditional fuels.

via DailyHybrid.com