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Neste and Boeing to partner on commercialization of renewable aviation fuels

Neste, the leading producer of renewable diesel and Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, will work together to promote and accelerate the commercialization of renewable aviation fuel.

The companies will work toward ASTM International fuel standard approval allowing the commercial use of high freezing point (hfp) renewable aviation fuel by airlines. The goal is also to gain widespread market acceptance for renewable aviation fuels, and to progress sustainability accreditation efforts.

Neste anticipates that its high-quality renewable aviation fuel could help the aviation industry to achieve its greenhouse gas saving targets: carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and a net reduction in carbon emissions of 50% by 2050 compared to 2005.

In 2014, Boeing successfully tested Neste’s NEXBTL hfp renewable aviation fuel in a 15% blend with petroleum jet fuel in the Boeing ecoDemonstrator 787, a test airplane that assesses technologies that can reduce aviation’s environmental footprint.

The 787 made an initial flight with this biofuel blend in one engine, followed by several flights with the biofuel blend in both engines. Based on its test flights, Boeing reported that “the airplane performed as designed with the renewable jet blend, just as it does with conventional jet fuel”.

Neste suggests that high freeze point renewable jet fuel is a potential game changer; it would be used in lower blends: <15% hfp HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids), instead of 50% HEFA. With appropriate incentives, high freeze point renewable jet fuel can be a cost-competitive way of reducing carbon footprint.

NEXBTL renewable jet fuel has also been tested on 1,187 scheduled Lufthansa flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg in 2011, and one intercontinental flight between Frankfurt and Washington D.C. at the beginning of 2012. Fuel quality, aircraft performance, engine status, and fuel storability were systematically studied during the flights by the pilots and cabin staff of the aircraft, as well as ground-based maintenance personnel.

The Lufthansa test showed that NEXBTL renewable jet fuel reduced CO2 emissions by a total of 1,500 tons for the flights concerned, and that the fuel consumption was 1% lower overall compared to fossil jet fuel. The data from the trial also confirmed that the aircraft and their engines performed excellently. The condition of the combustion chambers, turbines, and fuel systems of the engines has been exemplary both during and at the end of the trials. No sign of damage or corrosion has been detected in the aircrafts’ fuel tanks, and longer-term storage has had no negative impact on fuel quality.

Produced entirely from renewable and sustainable raw materials, Neste’s renewable aviation fuel will provide significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%; in addition, the fuel is free of aromatics and sulfur, which should result in cleaner turbine exhaust emissions. Neste’s renewable aviation fuel is energy dense and has good thermal stability properties making it an excellent blending component.



"..reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%.."
This is good, we can make jet fuel from biomass.

Kevin Cudby

Mike Boeing or Neste really need to clarify what they mean by "high freeze point". Jet A1 is spec'd to minus 47 C for very good reason. From the practical perspective HEFA is near identical to FT. I suspect the marginal barrel of jet fuel by the end of this century will be FT (solar and/or nuclear). With both HEFA and FT you need to modify the raw kero to lower the freezing point. Oil companies know how to do this, and some are already doing it. (e.g. Shell's GTL FT jet fuel). I really don't think the airlines are so sensitive to fuel prices that they can't afford a few cents per barrel for isomerisation, to make their renewable fuel satisfy existing, proven, specifications. What do Nest and Boeing mean by "High"? A higher freezing temperature? Or a bigger negative number?


You would have to ask them.

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