Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brazilian airline flies on biofuel

24 November 2010

On 22 November an Airbus A320 was flown off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Latin America, fuelled by a 50:50 blend of biofuel and conventional aviation fuel.

The 45-minute flight, which was conducted by Brazil’s largest airline TAM, Airbus and engine manufacturer CFM International, used biodiesel derived from jatropha seeds in what has been named the first experimental flight in South America using aviation fuel.

Since February 2008 a total of six flights have been successfully flown using a biofuel blend. Air New Zealand, Continental, Japan Airlines, KLM and Virgin Atlantic have all tested aviation biofuel from a variety of feedstocks including jatropha, coconut oil, algae and camelina seed oil.

According to the president of TAM Libano Barroso, the airline is looking to build ‘a Brazilian platform for sustainable aviation bio-kerosene.’

Barroso defended the non-edible crop, claiming that food crop production is not threatened by it as it ‘can be planted along pastures and food crops.’ The president claimed that studies have shown jatropha-based biofuels to emit between 65 and 80% less carbon than traditional aviation kerosene.

To read the full story on the Biofuels International website click here

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