Continental Airlines, Boeing and GE Aviation Announce Plans for “Sustainable” Biofuels Flight Demonstration
to conduct a biofuels demonstration flight in the first half of 2009 in an effort
to identify sustainable fuel solutions for the aviation industry. Continental
is the first major U.S. carrier to announce plans to highlight technological advancements
in sustainable biofuels that can help to further reduce carbon emissions.
commitment. For more than a decade, we have been focused on reducing fuel consumption
and carbon emissions, while providing industry-leading service to the places our
customers want to go,” said Mark Moran, Continental Airlines executive vice president
of operations. “Boeing and GE Aviation have been frontrunners in pioneering technology
that will benefit the aviation industry, customers, and the environment, and we
are pleased to benefit from their expertise in this venture.”
for years, and continues to focus attention on providing innovative solutions,”
said Ray Conner, executive vice president, sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“They clearly recognize the need for environmental improvement across the industry
and have embraced that challenge through fleet modernization and the economic
and social benefits that sustainable environmental technologies can provide to
their operations and to their passengers.”
biofuels in aviation,” said Scott Donnelly, president and CEO of GE Aviation.
“Working with our jet engine team at CFM International, GE has considerable experience
in evaluating biofuels in jet engines for aviation and in aeroderivative engines
for marine and industrial applications. GE and CFM are eager to get started in
supporting Continental’s exciting program.”
CFM56-7B engines. CFM is a 50/50 joint company of General Electric Company and
Snecma (SAFRAN Group). In the months leading up to the flight, Continental, Boeing
and GE will work together and with an undisclosed fuel provider to identify sustainable
fuel sources that don’t impact food crops, water resources or contribute to deforestation,
and which can be produced in sufficient quantities to support a pre-flight test
schedule that includes laboratory and ground-based jet engine performance testing to
ensure compliance with stringent aviation fuel performance and safety requirements.
including airlines and engine manufacturers, are helping to guide the aviation
sector toward sustainable biofuels produced through advanced biomass conversion technologies
and processes that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases throughout their
lifecycle. Sustainable biofuels for aviation incorporate second-generation methodologies
relative to fuel source selection and processing, which are uniquely suited for
aerospace use. These biofuels can then be blended with kerosene fuel (Jet-A) to
reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Additional details, including the flight plan,
will be announced closer to the demonstration flight date.
on the Virgin flight – derived from the oil of babassu nuts and coconuts – and
although algae is seen as a future ‘biojetfuel-of-choice’, other potential sources
include jatropha, halophytes and switchgrass.
suggests that on its flight the mix may be as high as 50/50 in one of the 737’s
commitment to environmental responsibility that has seen a 35% reduction in GHG
emissions and fuel consumption per mainline revenue passenger mile flown over
the past 10 years.
in partnership with Rentech Inc what it describes as the world’s first commercial
scale aviation grade biofuel production plant in California. The process is based
on 100% Bio-SynGas that is generated from biomass and municipal solid waste (MSW)
and then converted into renewable jet fuel.
generated from coal or natural gas. Utilizing Solena’s gasification technology,
the facility will convert biomass and organic products derived from municipal
solid waste into clean, renewable synthesis gas (Bio-SynGas), which will then
be converted into renewable jet fuel through Rentech’s Fischer-Tropsch process.