By Mark Halper
Posting in Aerospace
Plant-based jet fuel maker has scheduled the first non-stop trans-Atlantic biofuel flight, leaving this Friday from New Jersey to Paris.
Jet biofuels should get a boost this Friday, when Honeywell has scheduled a trans-Atlantic flight heading to Paris from Morristown, N.J., powered by Honeywell-branded Green Jet Fuel.
The corporate jet, a Gulfstream G450, will carry executives from Honeywell UOP, the company’s petrochemical division, using a 50/50 blend of the biofuel and petroleum-based jet fuel.
It’s scheduled to land in Paris on Saturday morning. The jet is bound for the Paris Air Show, where Honeywell will run additional flights in an effort to attract customers. The show runs from June 20 to 26.
Several aerospace and airline companies, as well as military groups, have flown jet biofuel test flights, but this weekend’s would appear to be the first non-stop trans-oceanic flight - 84 years after Charles Lindbergh made the world’s first non-stop trans-Atlantic plane flight in his Spirit of St. Louis.
Last August, UK testing and safety company Intertek flew a single engine propeller plane from Toronto to Germany’s Nordhorn-Lingen Airport near Holland, stopping in Greenland, Iceland and Scotland.
The week-long journey, in partnership with the Netherlands Clean Technology Development Center, is believed to have used a smaller percentage of biofuel than the 50/50 mix for the scheduled Honeywell trip.
The Honeywell flight comes as interest in jet biofuels grows. As reported by SmartPlanet last week, ASTM, a key U.S. standards agency, could give final approval to aviation biofuels by July 1 .
That would then clear the way for commercial use. At least one airline, Germany’s Lufthansa, plans to soon start using biofuel mixed with conventional kerosene-based jet fuel on daily commercial flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt. Finland’s Neste Oil would provide the biofuel.
Interest could be particularly keen in Europe, where airlines in 2012 will have to start paying for carbon credits as part of the EU’s emissions trading scheme, from which they have been exempt.
U.S. and Chinese airlines have objected to the scheme, noting that it will cost them disproportionately on long haul flights to Europe. The Air Transport Association of America has filed action in European court, and China has threatened a trade war that could include retaliation against the Chinese manufacturing arm of European aircraft maker Airbus.
Jet biofuels still face many commercial, political and environmental challenges. They are currently far more expensive than conventional fuel, and, logistically, not all varieties can be easily “dropped in” to existing fuel infrastructure. Jet biofuels, like biofuels in general, also face opposition because their production can use land and water that could otherwise grow crops and feed and sustain populations.
The biofuel industry is responding by seeking fuel sources such as wood waste, microalgae, animal fat and fish oil that minimize those effects.
Honeywell UOP, based in Des Plaines, Ill., processes its Green Jet Fuel from camelina, an inedible plant source. It developed the fuel under contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the U.S. military.
Jun 13, 2011
"Jet biofuels still face many commercial, political and environmental challenges." Mostly, like all biofuels they face economic challenges - not just their cost in money, but cost in terms of the human mass balance equation. Biofuels produced at the scale we need to be commercially significant necessarily require the use of peak petro and peak phosphate fertilizers - that are also critical to human food production at levels necessary to support present populations, much less the anticipated near term growth to 9 billion. It makes zero sense to develop biofuels that will consume critical and non-renewable resources that our foods are absolutely dependent upon. What are our decision makers thinking? The majority of the evidence suggests they are not, and that they are likely incapable of doing so - at least at the required levels, but rather they are being paid to think things required by special/monied interests, regardless of the threats they pose to the nation, species and world.
In 1943/44 the Vought V-173 prototype crashed on a beach in Connecticut. It was admitted that he flew that plane several times, but rumor had it Lindburgh was flying it when it crashed. The story is he was found having a beach side lunch with locals when the Army Air Corps search planes found him. He was banned from flying test planes for the rest of the war as the government did not want an American hero killed.
The number of acres of corn planted in the US has gone down every year since the mandate first went into effect in 2008. This has happened as ethanol's use of corn went from 3% of the crop to 40%. The UN has said that food for fuel policies worldwide have driven global food prices up by more than 70% since 2008. People supporting the use of food for fuel are uninformed idiots.