Boeing Aircraft Launches First Green Diesel Flight

 

Boeing

The first experiment of using green diesel as fuel in planes has been successful when a Boeing aircraft launched the first flight using this green diesel. The Boeing flight was a test that used sustainable bio fuel made from vegetable oils, cooking oil and fat.

Although the green fuel has already been used in trucks and other vehicles, use of green diesel in air crafts is a major breakthrough in the environmental and aviation industry. The technology is going a long way in reducing harmful emissions, protecting the environment and weaning away from fossil fuels.

The aircraft company powered its ecoDemonstrator 787 with a blend of 15 percent green diesel and 85 percent conventional jet fuel in one of the engines. The green diesel was supplied by Finnish company Neste Oil and it was blended in the United States by EPIC Aviation. It is expected that sustainable green diesel can minimize the carbon emissions by 50 to 90 percent as compared to regular fuel.

The green fuel technology used by Boeing has to go through several rigorous industry and security procedures before it can be used for commercial flights. Green fuel is commonly available and used in ground transportation and this fuel is similar to Hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) in their chemical composition that was approved for aviation use in 2011.

With the manufacturing of green diesel, it is expected that it can make the supply of bio fuel available at an affordable price for commercial use. Its wholesale cost at about $3 per gallon is quite close to regular jet fuel. Unlike other types of fuels, green diesel is being produced on a large-scale and it is expected to be at the same price level of conventional fuel when it will be released for commercial aviation purposes.

Once the green fuel passes all regularity and security checks, it will be used as a 50 percent blend with regular fuel in air crafts without any modifications to aircraft engines. The same blend of fuel can also be used by airlines and cargo carriers in their trucks and other transportation.

It is expected that about 800 million gallons of green fuel will be produced in the United States, Europe and Asia, which can meet the global jet fuel demand by one percent. U.S. commercial aviation and military consumes around 20 billion gallons of jet fuel in a year.

According to the chief pilot for New Airplane Product Development, Mike Carriker, the first test Boeing aircraft launch flight with green fuel was as good as with conventional fuel and encountered no issues during the whole flight. This is how Boeing expected the flight to operate with this new type of fuel.

Production of green diesel is among a few new top technologies being tested under ecoDemonstrator 787. Other technologies include atmospheric observation equipment of a Japanese project that involves a new aviation system, environmental research and meteorological departments. These projects have been ongoing for many years in which Japanese airplanes have been equipped with sensors to gather greenhouse gas information during the flight.

The launch of first Boeing aircraft flight with green fuel has opened a new door of aviation technology. It is in the near future that green fuel will be available for commercial use in air crafts and will be helpful in the reduction of environmental pollution without any extra cost for the aircraft companies and passengers.

By Atika Jilani

Sources:

Times of India

Chicago Tribune

Green Air Online

Photo by Salopian James – Wikimedia License

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