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Biofuels increasingly gaining airlines attention


Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Total Time

A major aircraft manufacturer and member airlines of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG) are combining to determine the feasibility and proper implementation of using synthetic fuels derived from biological sources. The Boeing Company and airlines, including All Nippon, Alaska, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are investigating the use of paraffin fuels derived from sources including jatropha nuts and algae that, when combined with conventional petroleum based fuel, meet or exceed Jet-A alone.
Also to be investigated later this year by Honeywell’s UOP, another group member, is biofuel derived by halophyte (salt loving) plants. Plants of this type are increasingly being focused on because of the ability to cultivate them in harsh soil conditions, including farmland which can no longer sustain conventional crops due to overuse.

Aircraft flown using a 50/50 blend of Jet A and jatropha oil have been determined safe for systems and engines and even an increase in range due to the higher energy density of the fuel blend. This allows the airplane to go further on less fuel, by weight. Continental airlines earlier this year became the first US based airline to conduct a flight test using a Boeing 737-800 with a blend of Jet A, algae and jatropha