Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Biofuel Test Flight Has Implications for Air Freight Emissions

Boeings Dreamliner is Cooking on Gas (well Oil)
Shipping News Feature

US – JAPAN – Following our article in November announcing the successful testing of biofuels in a Boeing 737 operated by United Airlines comes the news today that the first ever transpacific biofuel flight has been made between Boeing's Delivery Center in Everett, Washington and Tokyo Haneda Airport when a 787 Dreamliner being handed over to All Nippon Airways (ANA) flew for the first time powered in part by sustainable biofuels. Osamu Shinobe, ANA Senior Executive Vice President said:

"Our historic flight using sustainable biofuels across the Pacific Ocean highlights how innovative technology can be used to support our industry's goal of carbon-neutral growth beyond 2020."

The fuel used sounded a little more mundane than that utilised by the 737 in our previous story; the 787 flew with biofuel made mainly from used cooking oil and emitted an estimated 30% less CO2 emissions when compared to today's similarly-sized airplanes. Of the reduction in greenhouse gases, about 10% can be attributed to the use of biofuel and approximately 20% to the technology and efficiency advancements offered by the Dreamliner.

Boeing says it intends to stay at the forefront of the global effort to develop sustainable aviation biofuels, as part of the industry's strategy for lowering its carbon emissions. Made primarily from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the travelling public but the technological and environmental advances will no doubt impact equally upon the air freight cargo market.