Biofuel From Honeywell Powers Aeromexico

Aeromexico flights between Mexico City and San José, Costa Rica, just got a bit more green. Honeywell International, a massive New Jersey-based aerospace company, recently announced that their Honeywell Green Jet Fuel is now powering the route, marking one of the first uses of renewable fuels in everyday airplane passenger service. U.S. airlines and airlines in Europe have dabbled in using biofuels as part of their fuel mix, but haven’t established regular service with it, citing the expense and uncertain availability.

Honeywell’s fuel is 15 percent Green Jet Fuel and 85 percent petroleum-based fuel. The green portion of the blend is made from the inedible plant camelina. The route uses a Boeing 737-700, which carries up to 124 passengers. The fuel is blended by Mexican agency Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA). The agency has developed a program called “Flight Plan towards Sustainable Aviation Biofuels in Mexico,” which is focused on identifying and analyzing the elements of the supply chain of aviation biofuels in Mexico. According to ASA, the Mexican aviation sector expects biofuels to account for 1 percent of the fuel used in Mexico by 2015 and 15 percent by 2020.

aeromexico-biofuel-flight

image via Aeromexico

Honeywell’s process technology produces Green Jet Fuel from natural oils and wastes. The fuel meets all specifications for flight and, when used in a 50-50 blend with petroleum-derived jet fuel, is a drop-in replacement that requires no changes to the aircraft or engine. To date, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel has been used in more than 20 test and commercial flights on military and commercial platforms. In each flight, the biofuel performed as well, if not better, than traditional petroleum-based fuels, the company said. The fuel received ASTM approval for commercial flight in July 2011.

“This regular commercial route powered by Honeywell Green Jet Fuel is a huge step in establishing the market for aviation biofuels and widespread use of these fuels,” Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager for renewable energy and chemicals for Honeywell, said in a statement. “With the addition of this route, Aeroméxico and ASA are helping make cleaner air travel from non-fossil sources a reality for everyone.”

Help Carbonfund toward their goal of planting 1,000,000 trees. Subscribe to Green Earthling Deals by Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, and EarthTechling will donate $1 for every new subscriber. See contest rules for details. Sign up in the upper right-hand corner at EarthTechling.com or right here.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.