Continental Airlines has released the results of
its January 7, 2009, biofuel demonstration flight, which was
conducted in partnership with Boeing, GE Aviation/CFM
International, and Honeywell’s UOP.
The biofuel blend performed as well as or better
than traditional jet fuel, displaying an approximately
1.1%increase in fuel efficiency over traditional jet fuel in
different stages of the demonstration flight.
Overall life cycle greenhouse gas emissions
related to using a biofuel of the nature used on the Continental
demonstration flight are estimated to be reduced by 60% to 80% as
compared to traditional jet fuel.
“We are pleased with the successful results of
Continental’s biofuel demonstration flight,” said Leah Raney,
Continental’s managing director of global environmental affairs.
“We look forward to working with our partners as biofuels go
through the certification process, and we hope to see these fuels
produced in commercial quantities in the near future.”
During the approximately 90-minute flight, Continental test pilots successfully engaged the aircraft,
a Boeing 737-800 equipped with CFM International CFM56-7B engines,
in a number of flight maneuvers, such as mid-flight engine
shutdown and re-start, and power accelerations and
The aircraft’s No. 2 engine operated with a biofuel blend consisting of 50%
biologically-derived fuel and 50% traditional jet fuel.
aircraft’s No. 1 engine operated on 100% traditional jet fuel, allowing Continental to compare performance
between the biofuel blend and traditional fuel.
The flight took place in January 2009 in Houston, and the biofuel
blend included components derived from algae and jatropha
plants, both sustainable, second- generation sources that
do not impact food crops or water resources or contribute to
deforestation. The algae oil was provided by Sapphire
Energy, and the jatropha oil by Terasol Energy.
the fuel was a “drop-in” fuel, no modifications were necessary to
the aircraft or engine. After inspections, the aircraft
returned to regular revenue service the next day.
other recent news regarding: