German airline Lufthansa will conclude its six-month biofuel trial with a transatlantic flight today between Frankfurt and Washington DC.
Since July last year, Lufthansa has been trialling a 50-50 blend of regular fuel and biosynthetic kerosene on scheduled flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt.
The airline estimates that the 1187 flights undertaken by the Airbus A321 using the biofuel blend has reduced emissions by 1471 tonnes.
Lufthansa says that the biosynthetic kerosene it has been using is just as reliable as conventional jet fuel and has, in fact, a higher energy density allowing fuel consumption to be reduced by over 1%.
But while the airline says the burnFAIR project went smoothly and was satisfactory, it will be necessary to focus on the suitability, availability, sustainability and certification of raw materials for producing future biofuel.
“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,” says project manager Joachim Buse.
Last year, Thomson was pilloried by environmental groups for its use of biofuel from waste cooking oil. Critics said the volume of waste cooking oil required to supply the airline would be unfeasible in the long term.