Lufthansa completes six-month biofuel trial

Lufthansa reduced its CO2 emissions by 1,471 tonnes during a six-month practical trial of biosynthetic fuel, the airline said this week.

The trial involved 1,187 biofuel flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt. Total consumption of the biokerosene mix amounted to 1,556 tonnes.

“Our burnFAIR project went off smoothly and to our fullest satisfaction. As expected, biofuel proved its worth in daily flight operations,” said Joachim Buse, vice president aviation biofuel at Lufthansa.

Lufthansa said the highlight of the trial would be the first scheduled transatlantic flight to the United States, which is due to take place today.  A Boeing 747-400, carrying about 40 tonnes of a biosynthetic fuel mix, will fly from Frankfurt to Washington. With this flight alone, Lufthansa expects to reduce CO2 emissions by 38 tonnes, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of six scheduled flights between Frankfurt and Berlin.

“If we want to protect our climate and thus our future in a sustainable manner, we need innovative ideas and technologies and an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels – particularly in view of the growing demand for mobility worldwide,” said Christoph Franz, chairman of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

“As a next step, we will focus on the suitability, availability, sustainability and certification of raw materials,” said Buse. “But first we must tap into this market. However, Lufthansa will only continue the practical trial if we are able to secure the volume of sustainable, certified raw materials required in order to maintain routine operations.”

From 15 July to 27 December 2011 a Lufthansa Airbus A321 was used to operate scheduled flights on the Hamburg-Frankfurt route. One of the aircraft’s engines was powered by a 50-50 blend of regular fuel and biosynthetic kerosene.

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