Lufthansa has launched a six-month biofuel trial
on regular scheduled flights.
A Lufthansa Airbus A321, equipped with IAE
engines (International Aero Engines), with the registration
D-AIDG will fly the Hamburg-Frankfurt-Hamburg route four times
daily. One of its engines will run on a 50/50 mix of regular fuel
and biosynthetic kerosene.
The biofuel for jet engines has been
approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Since biokerosene has similar properties to
those of conventional kerosene it can be used for all aircraft
types without any need for modifications to the aircraft or its
The first flight of the six-month trial,
operating under flight number LH013, took off on Friday from
Hamburg at 11.15 hrs (CET) bound for Frankfurt.
During the six
months test run period, the use of biofuel will reduce CO2
emissions by up to 1,500 tonnes.
Christoph Franz, Chairman and CEO of the
Lufthansa Group, said that next to
reducing CO2 emissions the main aim of this long-term operational
trial, was to examine the effects of biofuel on the maintenance
and lifespan of aircraft engines.
kerosene used by Lufthansa is derived from pure biomass (biomass
to liquids – BtL) and consists of jatropha, camelina and animal
The fuel used by Lufthansa is
produced by Neste Oil, a Finnish oil company. Neste has extensive
experience in the production of biofuels and has been a successful
partner of Lufthansa for many years.
“Fuel quality is a critical issue in aviation.
Neste Oil’s NExBTL technology is very well-suited to producing
aviation fuel that meets the aviation industry’s toughest quality
standard,” said Matti Lievonen, Neste Oil's President and CEO.
“Being a pioneer in this area, we are very proud to co-operate
with Airbus and Lufthansa. We believe that renewable aviation
fuels have real potential for the future.”
the total costs of conducting the biofuel project at about 6.6
million euros. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has awarded 2.5 million euros in funding for this
project, which is part of a larger project known as FAIR (Future
Aircraft Research) set up to examine other issues besides the
compatibility of biofuels, including new propulsion and aircraft
concepts and other fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The use of biosynthetic kerosene is one element of the
four-pillar climate protection strategy pursued by Lufthansa with
a view to reducing overall CO2 emissions in the air transport
sector. By combining a range of different measures – for example,
ongoing fleet modernisation, technology improvements to aircraft
and engines, operational measures such as engine washing or the
use of lighter materials and an improved infrastructure –
Lufthansa aims to achieve the ambitious environmental goals set
out in its strategy.
The implementation of new technologies has
seen Lufthansa improve its fuel efficiency by over 30%
since 1991. Today the Lufthansa fleet has an average fuel
consumption of 4.2 litres per 100 passenger-kilometres.
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