(EnergyAsia, June 22 2011, Wednesday) — US engineering giant Honeywell said its bio-jet fuel successfully powered a tran-Atlantic flight of a plane which landed at Paris-Le Bourget Airport as part of the international airshow in Paris, France this week.
Honeywell said its operated Gulfstream G450 plane became the first aircraft to fly from North America to Europe with a 50/50 blend of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel and petroleum-based jet fuel, powering one of the aircraft’s Rolls-Royce engines. It was also the first business jet to be powered by a biofuel.
The biofuel was derived from camelina, a dedicated energy crop that does not compete in the food chain as it grows in rotation with wheat acreage and can also grow on marginal land.
Based on lifecycle analyses, Honeywell said the use of its green jet fuel for the flight saved approximately 5.5 metric tons of net carbon dioxide emissions compared to the same flight powered by petroleum-based fuel.
On the back of this flight, Honeywell and French aerospace leader Safran have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint venture company to deliver an innovative new electric green taxiing system for new and existing aircraft.
The two companies expect it to be installed on new aircraft and retrofitted on to existing planes from 2016. The new taxiing system will significantly improve airline operational efficiency and provide environmental benefits by slashing the carbon and other emissions created during runway taxi operations.
Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager of renewable energy and chemicals for Honeywell’s UOP, said:
“This first biofuel trip across the Atlantic, along with more than a dozen other commercial and military test flights conducted to date, demonstrates that Honeywell green jet fuel more than meets the demanding requirements for air travel.
“Now that the initial ASTM International approval is in place, we are one step closer to commercial use that will help the aviation community reduce its carbon footprint and dependence on crude.”
Pres Henne, Gulfstream’s senior vice president for Programs, Engineering and Test, said:
“Gulfstream is committed to achieving business aviation’s ambitious goals on emissions reductions. These include carbon neutral growth by 2020 and a reduction in total carbon emissions of 50% by 2050 relative to 2005. We are working with engine companies and other innovators, such as Honeywell, to ensure we can meet these initiatives. We are very proud to participate in this historic demonstration.”
Honeywell said it has produced more than 700,000 gallons of its green jet fuel from sustainable, inedible sources such as camelina, jatropha and algae for use in commercial and military testing. In each of the 16 biofuel flights conducted to date, Honeywell said the fuel met all specifications for flight on military and commercial platforms without any modification to the aircraft or engines.
The process to produce the fuel was originally developed in 2007 under a contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable military jet fuel. The process is based on hydro-processing technology commonly used in today’s refineries to produce transportation fuels. It produces an aviation biofuel that can be blended seamlessly with petroleum-based fuel.
Tom Todaro, CEO of Sustainable Oils, said: “With more than 500,000 gallons produced, camelina-based renewable jet fuel has been the most widely tested of any feedstock and has proven itself on more engine types and aircraft. “It’s the only sustainable feedstock that is widely and commercially available today. We are proud to partner with Honeywell on this historic flight.”