Lufthansa to use biofuel on flights by 2012

9.5.2010   (Reuters)

Lufthansa is set to become one of the world’s first airlines to mix biofuel with
traditional kerosene on commercial flights as carriers seek ways to cut soaring
fuel costs, its chief executive said.


The German flag carrier will start running its engines on some flights on a mix
of biofuel and kerosene within two years, Wolfgang Mayrhuber told reporters on
the sidelines of an event late on Saturday.


A spokesman for Lufthansa added the airline will likely decide on a more precise
schedule by the end of this year.


Aircraft account for an estimated 2-4 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions, which scientists say could cause global temperatures to rise, triggering
widespread disease, famine, flooding and drought.


Experts say global aviation emissions could reach 2.4 billion tonnes in 2050,
which would be 15-20 percent of all CO2 permitted under a global agreement and
a nearly four-fold increase on current levels.


Lufthansa rival KLM, part of Franco-Dutch Air France, last year became the first
airline to test biofuel in a passenger airplane, filling one of four engines on
a Boeing 747 with biofuel for a 1.5 hour test flight.


The carrier has said it aims to make commercial flights which use biofuel from


U.S.-based Continental Airlines, the U.S. airline that is set to create the world’s
largest carrier by merging with United Airlines parent UAL, had already used a
mix of biologically derived fuel and jet fuel on a test flight.


Mayrhuber said Lufthansa had no plans to run individual test flights at this
point.   Instead, the carrier would wait until it could start using biofuel regularly
on some routes to gather reliable data over a longer period of time.


In the long run, the use of biofuel is expected to save airlines money.


“First, we are hoping to get some resource security, and second, we hope that
we will have some advantages in our costs for emissions trading,” Mayrhuber said
at the event, which celebrates 50 years of Boeing planes at Lufthansa.


The European Union is set to extend its Emissions Trading System (ETS) to airlines
from 2012, and the less traditional kerosene airlines use every year, the fewer
certificates they have to buy permitting them to pollute the air.


Lufthansa has estimated its annual costs from the ETS at 150-350 million euros
($201-470 million) once airlines join the scheme.


(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Erica Billingham)


($1=.7453 Euro)


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Take Action

There is an email action by Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue) to ask people to drop their agrofuel plans:     21.5.2010

Their website says:       !In order to increase their ‘energy security’, Lufthansa
wants to burn kerosene with agrofuels. At the end of two years of tests, up to
10% agrofuels are to be added to jet fuel. Lufthansa likes to speak about algae
– not a realistic option – and jatropha, which is linked to land-grabbing, hunger
and deforestation. Please call on Lufthansa to drop their agrofuel plans. (Start:
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