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Air New Zealand Reschedules Biofuel Test Flight for 30 Dec; 1st of 3 Upcoming Industry Tests Using UOP Green Jet SPK

23 December 2008

Air New Zealand has rescheduled its test flight using a 50:50 jatropha-derived biojet-A1 fuel blend in one Rolls-Royce RB211 engine on a Boeing 747-400 for 30 December. Air New Zealand had earlier suggested that the test flight, postponed due to the crash of an Air New Zealand-owned jet in November, would be rescheduled for early January. (Earlier post.)

The test flight is a joint initiative between Air New Zealand, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and UOP, with support from Terasol Energy, as part of commercial aviation’s drive for more sustainable air travel for future generations. It is also the first of three test flights that will occur over the next month using “Green Jet” bio-derived synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK) produced by UOP. (Earlier post.)

Using a feedstock-flexible method derived from its EcoFining process for producing renewable “green diesel”, UOP deoxygenates the oil, then applies selective cracking and isomerization to produce a synthetic paraffinic kerosene that can then be blended with conventional aviation fuel at up to 50%.

Other upcoming Green Jet blend test flights include:

  • Continental Airlines is planning the first biofuel-powered demonstration flight of a US commercial airliner, to be conducted in Houston on 7 Jan 2009. The demonstration flight will be powered in one engine by a 50:50 fuel blend of traditional jet fuel and UOP SPK derived from a mixture of algae and jatropha oils.

  • Japan Airlines (JAL) will conduct a demonstration flight using UOP SPK produced from a mixture of three second-generation biofuel feedstocks: camelina (84%), jatropha (less than 16%), and algae (less than 1%). The demo flight, which will test a blend of 50% biofuel and 50% traditional Jet-A jet (kerosene) fuel in one of the four Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines of a JAL-owned Boeing 747-300 aircraft, is planned for 30 January 2009 out of Haneda Airport, Tokyo. (Earlier post.)

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