domingo, 22 de enero de 2012

Airplanes and energy: Lufthansa successfully tested a fuel made from biomass that is less polluting.

According to this article published in "Tendencias 21", the new fuel saves about one ton of CO2 per tonne of fuel, and lack of sulfur and other contaminants.

Lufthansa has been successfully tested for half a year a jet fuel made from biomass, which saves CO2 emissions and sulfur, and is fully compatible with conventional engines.
In total, this fuel is made with 1187 flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt, which was saved 1471 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

BurnFAIR project, the name given to these trials, has gone smoothly. As expected, the biofuel has proved effective on flights, according to the authors of the tests.

Lufthansa has made the first test, six months, with a biosynthetic fuel. These tests were carried out under the project burnFAIR developed to test the efficiency of such fuel in air navigation. The company recently announced the results of these trials have been positive.
In total, they took the fuel out 1187 flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt, which was saved 1471 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The project burnFAIR "has gone smoothly and we are very satisfied. As expected, the biofuel has proved its effectiveness in flight," confirmed Joaquim Buse, vice president of Biofuel for Aviation Lufthansa.

During the tests, were consumed 1556 tons of bio-kerosene. Last Thursday saw the first transatlantic flight to the U.S. with this fuel. A Boeing 747-400, carrying 40 tonnes of biosynthetic fuel on board, flew from Frankfurt to Washington.

Only with this flight was saved 38 tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, equivalent to six flights between Frankfurt and Berlin.

In line with the objective of the IATA (Air Transport Association) globally, airlines must reduce net emissions of carbon dioxide by 50% by 2050 (over 2005). "If we protect our climate and our future as a sustainable way, we need innovative ideas and technologies and an alternative to fossil fuels compatible with the environment, particularly with the growing global demand for mobility," said Christoph Franz, President of the Council German company executive.

Consume less than 1%

The biosynthetic kerosene, the statement is as reliable as conventional, but their environmental effects are more levevs. Thanks to its greater density, it has been possible to reduce consumption by more than 1%. In addition, the biosynthetic fuel is free of sulfur and aromatics.

The principle that saves emissions that fuel is simple and is based on the carbon cycle. Plants (from which we get the biomass and biofuel it) absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When aircraft engines burn biofuel, carbon dioxide is returned to the atmosphere, but in an amount 50% lower than fossil fuels.

"The next step will focus on sustainability, availability and certification of raw materials. But first we need to access this market. However, Lufthansa will only continue with the tests if we can ensure the sustainable supply of raw materials and certified to maintain our operations" , Joaquim said Buse.

From 15 July to 27 December last year an Airbus A321 followed the route Hamburg-Frankfurt eight times daily. One of its two engines use a mixture of 50% of normal fuel and biosynthetic. The objective of this long-term test was to observe the effect of biofuels on the environment, and maintenance and engine life.

Production of biofuel

The biofuel used by Lufthansa liquefying biomass is produced, and is known as BtL (Biomass to Liquid). The producer is the Finnish oil company Neste Oil. The material does not in any way affect the passengers, because it is fully compatible with traditional kerosene, and engines need no modification.

The fact of using biofuel in only one of the two engines of the aircraft is intended to make a comparison between the two. However, you can use a mixture with more than 50% of biofuel, since the aromatic components of this are lacking essential to the operation of the engine.

The choice of the Hamburg-Frankfurt route because it is Hamburg where Lufthansa has its headquarters, and can keep separate the normal fuel biofuel in special tanks. Lufthansa has also recently reached an agreement with Australian company Algae.Tec, to jointly evaluate the potential of algae oil as a future source of sustainable fuel for aircraft.


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