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Test flight shows bio-based aviation fuel as good as conventional fuel

Results from the world’s first civil flight powered by 100% biofuel show that the biofuel used in the flight last October is cleaner than conventional aviation fuel and equally efficient, according to the National Research Council of...


January 15, 2013
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Results from the world’s first civil flight powered by 100% biofuel show that the biofuel used in the flight last October is cleaner than conventional aviation fuel and equally efficient, according to the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

The biofuel used for this flight originated from oilseed crops.

Information collected in-flight and analyzed by a team of experts revealed an important reduction in aerosol emissions (50%) when using biofuel compared to conventional fuel. Furthermore, additional tests performed on a static engine show a significant reduction in particles (up to 25%) and in black carbon emissions (up to 49%) compared to conventional fuel. These tests also show a comparable engine performance, but an improvement of 1.5% in fuel consumption during the steady state operations.

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The jet’s engines required no modification as the biofuel tested meets the specifications of petroleum-based fuels.

NRC flew the jet, powered by 100% unblended biofuels, on October 29, 2012, achieving a milestone for the aviation industry. The Falcon 20 flew on biofuel at 30,000 feet, similar to regular commercial aircraft altitude.

The Resonance™ brand industrial oilseed crop used to make the biofuel is uniquely suited for production in semi-arid regions, making it suitable for cultivation in the southern Prairies, the manufacturers say.