Green Fuel Powers First Passenger Flight

The Netherlands’ KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is claiming to be the first in the world to use a green fuel blend – a 50-50 mix of traditional jet fuel and biofuel – on a commercial flight, carrying more than 170 passengers on a Boeing 737-800 from Amsterdam to Paris in late June.

The “biokerosene” that powered the flight was supplied by SkyNRG and produced by Dynamic Fuels, a partnership between the synthetic fuel manufacturer Syntroleum and the meat production giant Tyson Foods. Together, the companies established a venture that has been converting fats, oils and greases into fuels at a plant in Geismar, La., just south of Baton Rouge, since late last year. So this biofuel has the virtue of not being made from food material.

KLM Boeing 737-800

image via KLM

Last month, we noted Boeing was undertaking a similar biofuel flight to Paris using a cargo aircraft, perhaps signaling major players in the aviation industry are starting to look for fuel resources in the renewable sector.

We recently hosted a conversation about the sustainability of an aviation biofuel market, and noted some are speculating that it could be at least 10 years before a significant industry emerges. But KLM, at least, seems to be making a step toward more biofuel integration, saying the most recent flight was a merely test for about 200 more scheduled this September.

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