Blend with ASTM-Conformant Fuel from Cooking Oil
KLM is trumpeting its first-ever series of biofuel-powered intercontinental flights – a weekly run, beginning this month, from John F. Kennedy in New York to Amsterdam Schiphol in The Netherlands on a Boeing 777-200 using a sustainable biofuel blend. The 777-200 has twin GE90 engines. updated with Epic photo on March 24
Fuel will be pumped by Epic Aviation for the flights originating in New York. The bio-blend fuel is produced from used cooking oil by Dynamic Fuels (a joint venture of Tyson Foods and Syntroleum Corp), says Kai Sorenson of Epic.
“We’re the logistics piece,” he says. “We make sure we keep it on spec and get it to the airplane.”
The product supplied to Epic by Dynamic Fuels meets ASTM’s D7566 aviation biofuel specification, Sorenson says, meaning that it is identical to conventional ASTM 1655 jet fuel, commonly known as Jet-A.
Extensive Tests by Enginemaker GE
He told F&F that he expects KLM to use a blend of about 20% biofuel, as the product currently costs about three times as much as Jet-A. “Even though it’s a drop-in fuel, it’s an expensive fuel,” he says.
GE, meanwhile, collaborated with KLM and both Boeing and other jet airplane manufacturers to test the HEFA – high essential fatty acid – biofuel. GE tested components including the engine combustor, and actual engines on the ground, at at least three different U.S. facilities, as well as participating in flight tests, says engineering specialist Mike Epstein.
GE found “no change in form, fit or function,” Epstein told F&F.
Fuel for the flights from Schiphol will be supplied by SkyNRG, which was founded by KLM in 2009. SkyNRG just this month reported that its has secured Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) certification for its entire supply chain – from “feedstock to flight.” SkyNRG has been commended by organizations including the Natural Resources Defense Council and World Wildlife Fund International for helping make aviation biofuels a reality.
‘World’s Oldest Airline’
KLM says that the regular flights have been made possible via a partnership including the Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, incidentally, notes that it was founded in 1919, “making it the world’s oldest airline still operating under its original name.”
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Source: KLM release with Fleets & Fuels follow-up