Europe’s major biojet fuel initiative, ITAKA (Initiative Towards sustAinable Kerosene for Aviation), launched its first demonstration flights in partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines program in its quest for a 1% mix of sustainable biofuel use by 2015.
The 20 long-haul biojet flights will use an Airbus A330-200 aircraft flying from Schiphol airport (The Netherlands) to Aruba and Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean as part of an agenda of activities focused on sustainability. The first flight will be received by the Prime Minister of Aruba, Mr. Michiel Godfried Eman. The fuel to be used in the first flights consists of a 20% blend of Used Cooking Oil-based (UCO) renewable jet fuel supplied by ITAKA partner SkyNRG and standard fossil kerosene.
This blend is fully ASTM D1655 compliant and, therefore, suitable for commercial flight operations.
Progressively, the biofuel production for the next set of flights programmed within the project is foreseen to come from an energy crop, Camelina sativa, which is being currently grown and processed for this purpose.
These demonstration activities represent the longest program of commercial biojet flights reported to date. The outcomes of these flights will generate data such as engine and fuel systems performance as a result of the biofuel use. These data will be compared against standard fossil kerosene usage parameters in order to assess its behavior and promote the use of biofuels in the aviation sector.
The main objective of the ITAKA Project is to support the development of aviation biofuels in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner, improving the readiness of existing technology and infrastructures.
The project involves the cooperation of 11 partners from 8 European countries (SENASA, Neste Oil, Airbus Group, Camelina Company España, Manchester Metropolitan University, RE-CORD, SkyNRG, CLH, EPFL and Biotehgen) and a representative from the Brazilian aircraft manufacturing industry, Embraer.