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.
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.