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Lufthansa makes first scheduled flight with new biofuel

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LH190 flew from Frankfurt to Berlin on sugar-based biofuel

The Lufthansa Group has marked what it calls “another milestone in its pioneering work” in the testing of alternative fuels. Lufthansa flight LH190 flew from Frankfurt to Berlin Tegel on Monday operated using a 10% blend of the new biofuel component farnesan. It was the first scheduled flight in Europe to run on this fuel mix.

Farnesan is a sugar-based bio-kerosene developed jointly by the oil group Total and US-based biotech company Amyris. The material was approved for blending with petroleum-based kerosene in June.

The flight this week was preceded by a rig test at Lufthansa Technik’s facility in Hamburg in autumn 2013 as part of the EU’s Blending Study project. The tests showed that blending can improve fuel emission characteristics.

In order to translate research projects conducted jointly with universities and business enterprises into practice, the Lufthansa Group also relies on the use of jatropha, an oil-bearing plant that grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Lufthansa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with JatroSolutions GmbH – a subsidiary of EnBW, Germany’s third-biggest energy company – to make jatropha production commercially viable. Lufthansa will help the start-up company to set up a raw materials supply chain to ensure the provision of biosynthetic fuel derived from the jatropha plant.

TTG Nordic

[photo courtesy Lufthansa]

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