KLM to make one flight per week New York to Amsterdam for 6 months using 25% used cooking oil
KLM has announced that one of its weekly Boeing 777 flights from New York to Amsterdam – for 6 months – will now be made using 25% biofuel made from old cooking oil. [Not clear if that is in one engine or both]. The first such flight was last Thursday on Flight KL642 flight from JFK to Schiphol. The fuel is provided by SkyNRG and the project has been supported by (what does that mean?) a raft of KLM partners, including Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the companies in the KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Program. KLM has started marketing its new biofuel flights to corporate customers, so companies like Accenture, Heineken, Nike, and Philips who use the KLM biofuel flights can say they have lower reported carbon emissions. There are only very limited supplies of used cooking oil, which is the only form of biofuel that can so far be regarded as environmentally sustainable. The industry’s hopes that it may be able to obtain huge amounts of so called “sustainable” fuels from algae are still years away.
KLM debuts weekly transatlantic biofuel-powered flight
Dutch airline confirms weekly flights from New York to Amsterdam will use sustainable biofuels
By BusinessGreen staff
11 Mar 2013
The fast-evolving market for aviation biofuels has reached another important milestone, after Dutch airline KLM announced one of its weekly flights from New York to Amsterdam will now be made using a sustainable biofuel made from old cooking oil.
The company announced late last week that Thursday’s Flight KL642 flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to Schiphol was made using biofuel, and confirmed the weekly flight will now continue to use the biofuel.
The fuel is to be provided by aviation biofuel specialist SkyNRG and the project has been supported by a raft of KLM partners, including Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the companies in the airline’s Corporate BioFuel Program.
The news was welcomed by the Dutch Minister of Ecomomic Affairs, Henk Kamp, who hailed the project as evidence of KLM’s position as a “frontrunner in making air transportation more sustainable”.
KLM’s managing director, Camiel Eurlings, said the project was part of a wide-ranging initiative to deliver further carbon emissions reductions. “We are striving to achieve the ‘optimal flight’ together with research institutes, suppliers, airports, and air traffic control,” he said. “We are combining new and existing technologies, processes, and efficiency initiatives to achieve this.”
Significantly, KLM has started marketing its new biofuel flights to corporate customers. The company last year launched a service that allows corporate accounts such as Accenture, Heineken, Nike, and Philips who use the airline to fly using sustainable biofuel for a proportion of their flights, [They say 25% of the used cooking oil. But is that in one engine, or both engines?] effectively cutting their own reported emissions.
The flight is the latest development in an industry-wide push to develop lower carbon fuels that will allow the aviation sector to reduce its fast-increasing carbon footprint.
Airlines such as KLM, Delta, BA and Virgin Atlantic are all investing heavily in a wide range of projects to develop jet biofuels made from waste or algae.
Concerns have been raised as to whether sufficient quantities of biofuel can be developed to support the global industry, but researchers are confident algae-based biofuels in particular could one day deliver large quantities of low carbon fuel.
The research comes in response to mounting pressure from policy-makers and customers to aviation to curb its carbon impact, most notably in the form of the EU’s move to place a levy on airlines carbon emissions
Cooking Oil-Based Biofuel Powers Transatlantic KLM Flights
Flying on Biofuel
KLM has been working with cooking oil since 2009. On November 23, 2009, it flew the first demonstration flight with passengers. During the flight, the plane had one engine running on a 50% biofuel mix with camelina oil. This was followed on June 9, 2011 with a flight from Amsterdam to Paris with 171 paying passengers. This was the first ever commercial flight with a biofuel powered plane. The biofuel used was recycled cooking oil.
The KLM transatlantic flights are a part of the continuing testing that KLM is doing. They aim to have a 1% mix of sustainable biofuel for all planes by 2015.
Higher Costs for Now
Like most technologies, the initial phase will be expensive as cooking oil is not cheap. The used oil is from Louisiana, where it is refined, and trucked to New York. The cost of the fuel is about $10 per gallon, which is more than three times the cost of jet fuel. Most of the cost goes to refining and preparing the used oil for use with jet engines. With wider use, it is expected that the cost of used oil for jet engines should become cheaper in the long term.
As far as the pilots are concerned, they find no difference in the performance between using the biofuel mix and using regular jet fuel.
Restaurants and other food establishments in New York City produce between 40 million to 50 millions gallons of used oil a year. However, the oil is used as fuel for diesel trucks or for home heating fuel.
KLM promises MilieuDefensie (Netherlands) not to buy jatropha from Waterland International
Date added: April 12, 2012
Lufthansa and KLM have flown trial flights, with KLM using – as far as we can make out -used cooking oil fuel, and Lufthansa using fuel made of 80% camelina and 15% jatropha. MilieuDefensie (Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands) has been able to get a written undertaking from KLM not to do future business with a company called Waterland, which produces jatropha. The KLM undertaking does not rule out other jatropha or other unsustainable biofuels in future, however. MilieuDefensie is asking people to write to Lufthansa, to get them to also stop using jatropha fuel. In September 2011, Jatenergy Limited announced it had sold 200 tonnes of crude jatropha oil at US $1,000 per tonne from its joint venture operations with Waterland. The oil had been refined into biojet fuel for Lufthansa by Neste Oil. Click here to view full story…
200 more biofuel flights by KLM using cooking oil – while Lufthansa using Indonesian jatropha
Date added: February 24, 2012
Friends of the Earth International say the German airline Lufthansa has recently been using biokerosene made from jatropha, an inedible plant. The airline claims that flying on biokerosene is good for the environment despite numerous studies claiming the opposite. The jatropha used for Lufthansa’s test flights is grown in Indonesia by small scale farmers. The jatropha plants are often being grown at the cost of food production – jatropha competes with food crops such as maize for land – and the farmers are making a loss on the sale of the plants, so are struggling to survive. FoEI is asking people to write to Lufthansa and ask them to stop using biokerosene to fly their planes. KLM is continuing with part biofuelled flights, 4 per week, using some biofuel from used cooking oil, between Schiphol and Paris. Click here to view full story…
Finnair flies commercial flight Amsterdam to Helsinki on 50% cooking oil
Date added: July 21, 2011Finnair has joined KLM and Lufthansa to use blended sustainable jet biofuel on a commercial scheduled flight. Both engines of an Airbus A319 were fuelled with a mix of 50% biofuel derived from used cooking oil and 50% conventional jet fuel. The 1,500km journey between Amsterdam and Helsinki was the longest scheduled flight so far to use biofuel. Finnair plans to carry out a series of 4 such flights over the coming weeks. The fuel is from SkyNRG. Click here to view full story…
KLM operates first scheduled flight on 50% biokerosene from used cooking oil in both engines
Date added: June 30, 2011
KLM has became the first airline to operate a commercial flight carrying 171 passengers on 50% biokerosene. A Boeing 737-800 flew from Schiphol to Paris. KLM says they would be operating more than 200 flights to Paris on biokerosene in September. The fuel was supplied by Dynamic Fuels via SkyNRG, the consortium co-founded by KLM in 2009. “KLM is open to using different raw materials …. as long as they meet a range of sustainability criteria”. Click here to view full story…
KLM to launch commercial flights in September Amsterdam – Paris on biofuel (? used cooking oil ?)
Date added: June 23, 2011
KLM says it will fly more than 200 flights between Amsterdam and Paris on biokerosene made from used cooking oil. It does not say what percent of the fuel the used oil will be. KLM then says it will use other fuels too, as long as they meet their sustainability criteria and include substantial CO2 reductions. In practice there is nowhere near enough used cooking oil available, most of which is already used as biodiesel for land vehicles, and other uses. Click here to view full story…